Treasury lifts sanctions on Venezuelan general who turned against Maduro

Treasury lifts sanctions on Venezuelan general who turned against Maduro

The Treasury Department on Tuesday announced it had lifted sanctions on a member of Venezuela's military who broke ranks with President Nicolás Maduro, the latest sign of the Trump administration hoping to build up opposition to the leader.

Treasury officials said in a statement that the administration was removing sanctions imposed against Gen. Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, who threw his support behind U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó during last week's apparent coup attempt.

The department said in the statement that the move shows the U.S.'s "good faith."

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"The delisting of Cristopher also shows the good faith of the United States that removal of sanctions may be available for designated persons who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the illegitimate Maduro regime, or combat corruption in Venezuela," it said.

Cristopher, who was sanctioned in February, formerly served as director general of Venezuela’s National Intelligence Service, also known as SEBIN. SEBIN has been accused of torturing prisoners.

Guaidó last week unsuccessfully called upon the country's military to remove Maduro, who has also been accused of human rights abuses, from power. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Trump defense chief: US may send more troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions Pompeo slams 'unconscionable' release of 'American Taliban' MORE on Sunday said that the U.S. has a "full range of options" on the table for dealing with Venezuela, including both diplomatic and military options.

In April, Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump GOP senators work to get Trump on board with new disaster aid package MORE (R-Fla.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezEnding the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean We can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison MORE (D-N.J.) introduced a bill called the VERDAD Act, which would remove sanctions on individuals "not involved in human rights abuse if they recognize Venezuela’s Interim President," according to a statement. The bill has not yet passed.