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 Pompeo'China will not sit idly by' if US sells fighters to Taiwan, official says The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Iceland's prime minister will not be in town for Pence's visit 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 RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE (R-Fla.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid House passes temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans Senate panel advances bipartisan bill to lower drug prices amid GOP blowback 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.