On July 19, the United States sanctioned four officials of the Maduro-aligned General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence, known as DGCIM, pursuant to E.O. 13692, as amended, for being current or former Maduro-aligned officials. They are Division General Rafael Ramon Blanco Marrero, Colonel Hannover Esteban Guerrero Mijare, Major Alexander Enrique Granko Arteaga, and Colonel Rafael Antonio Franco Quintero.
Nicolas Maduro and his associates continue their involvement in human rights abuses and promote those who carry out these abuses, in spite of the findings and recommendations of the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) July 5 report. For example, Blanco was promoted to the rank of Division General just six days after Venezuelan Navy Captain Acosta’s alleged torture and death while in the custody of Maduro’s security forces.
Similar to the OHCHR report, Human Rights Watch and NGO Foro Penal reported in January on the use of asphyxiation, electric shocks, food deprivation, and death threats against soldiers accused of plotting against Maduro. Additionally, last week there were reports that ten female prisoners in DGCIM custody were taken from their cells and moved to an unknown location. Their whereabouts remain unknown.
Meanwhile, 107 military officers are listed by Foro Penal as political prisoners of the former Maduro regime.
Venezuelans deserve a government that honors and respects its military and security forces and empowers them to uphold the constitution.
The United States will stand by interim President Juan Guaido and the National Assembly until all the people of Venezuela are free from repression and democracy is restored.