On December 9, 2019, the United States sanctioned two officials aligned with the former Maduro regime pursuant to Executive Order 13692, as amended, which authorizes the designation of any person determined to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela. Gustavo Adolfo Vizcaino Gil and Juan Carlos Dugarte Padron used their position as Director General of the Government of Venezuela’s Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration (SAIME) to corruptly enrich themselves at the expense of Venezuelans seeking passport services. Dugarte was Director General from April 2016 until June 2018, when Vizcaino replaced him.
During Vizcaino’s tenure, SAIME charged exorbitant fees from passport applicants, from which he personally profited. Some passports were sold to non-Venezuelan citizens and other applicants never received passports, even after illicitly being charged thousands of dollars. Dugarte also received kickbacks and was publicly implicated in corrupt dealings for the sale of passports.
It is unconscionable that Venezuelans may be unable to obtain a passport or have to pay excessive fees due to corruption, as they continue to flee the devastating conditions in Venezuela that Maduro and his corrupt associates have created. This is yet another cause of the misery that millions of Venezuelans now suffer.
With our democratic partners in the region and around the world, the United States will continue to support the people of Venezuela, interim President Guaido, and the National Assembly.