U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Statement by Robert Palladino, Deputy Spokesperson
March 22, 2019
Today, the United States sanctioned the Venezuelan Economic and Social Development Bank (BANDES) and five subsidiaries (Banco Bandes Uruguay S.A., Banco de Venezuela S.A., Banco Universal, Banco Bicentenario del Pueblo, and Banco Prodem S.A.). In addition, the U.S. government today determined that persons operating in Venezuela’s financial sector could be subject to sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13850. This action targets a financial institution that the former Maduro regime uses to move money stolen from the Venezuelan people outside of Venezuela.
The former Maduro regime continues its attack on democracy in Venezuela. This action is in response to the unjustified raids of the homes of several Venezuelan leaders, including National Assembly Deputy Sergio Vergara, and the abduction of Roberto Marrero, Chief of Staff to interim President Juan Guaido and Vergara’s driver, Luis Aguilar.
The former Maduro regime dispatched thugs to plant evidence in the homes of these Venezuelan leaders in the middle of the night, and continues to use lawless bands as a means to intimidate, stifle democracy, and silence the voice of the Venezuelan people. These unconscionable acts will not stand. Neither will the regime’s continued mismanagement and theft of Venezuela’s resources.
We demand the release of Roberto Marrero and Luis Aguilar immediately, and will hold accountable all those involved.
We will continue to use the full weight of U.S. economic and diplomatic power to press for the freedom of the Venezuelan people and restoration of Venezuelan democracy.
The international community stands with interim President Guaido, the National Assembly, and the people of Venezuela.