United States Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Venezuelan state-run ferrous metals mining Company, Minerven, and its President, Adrián Antonio Perdomo on Tuesday for promoting “illicit” gold operations that have continued to prop up the regime of President Nicolas Maduro.
“The illegitimate Maduro regime is pillaging the wealth of Venezuela while imperiling indigenous people by encroaching on protected areas and causing deforestation and habitat loss. Maduro’s scheme to usurp the National Assembly’s authority and strip Venezuela of natural resources has exposed local communities to dangerous toxins,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
Maduro’s regime has resorted to the illegal sale of gold after US imposed sanctions on state oil company, PDVSA, that prevented it from continuing the sell of crude to Venezuela’s main buyers.
Venezuela has one of the largest diamond reserves in the world. God will provide diamonds, gold, oil and riches for the people of Venezuela and the social happiness. God will provide. Amen, let's say amen, implored Nicolás Maduro at a ceremony held in early March in the mining state of Bolívar, in the south of the country.
Last week, some 7.4 ton of gold appeared in Uganda, according to country’s Government. The inquiries focus on recent imports that have reached the country's largest gold refinery, valued at 300 million dollars.
The deputy of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Ángel Alvarado, had denounced with little success that on February 27 eight tons of gold had left the vaults of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV). They intend to sell it contraband outside the country, said the parliamentarian.
US today’s action targets an entity and an individual that operate in the gold sector of the Venezuelan economy. Donald Trump’s administration only recognizes as legitimate president the leader of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, who declared himself as interim ruler on January 23.
“Treasury is targeting gold processor Minerven and its President for propping up the inner circle of the corrupt Maduro regime. We will aggressively pursue those involved with Maduro’s reckless illicit gold trade which is contributing to this financial, humanitarian, and environmental crisis,” added Mnuchin.