HomeNewsBriefUS Targets Children of Venezuela President and First Lady
BRIEF

US Targets Children of Venezuela President and First Lady

ELITES AND CRIME / 15 AUG 2019 BY VENEZUELA INVESTIGATIVE UNIT EN

The United States has placed sanctions on the son and stepsons of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro, adding to the piles of accusations that corruption within the government reached the highest levels.

In the span of a month, the US Treasury Department has placed sanctions on President Maduro's son, Nicolás Ernesto Maduro Guerra, and first lady Cilia Flores' sons, according to agency news releases. As is standard, the sanctions freeze their US assets and prohibit all Americans and US financial institutions from doing any transactions with them. 

Maduro's son, often referred to as "Nicolasito, is accused of having designed a strategy to prevent the entry of humanitarian assistance into Venezuela. He is a member of the National Constituent Assembly (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente - ANC), the pro-Maduro legislature, and is said to be part of Maduro's inner-circle, which "lives in luxury off the proceeds of corruption," according to a June 28 Treasury Department news release

SEE ALSO: Venezuela News and Profiles

The sanctions against Flores' children -- Walter, Yoswal and Yosser --  stem from their  alleged involvement in a scheme that sent overpriced, inedible food packages to Venezuela. Álex Saab, a Colombian businessman, is accused of running the corruption network, which employed shell companies to steal millions of dollars from food import contracts.

The food aid program, known as the Local Committees for Supply and Production (Comités Locales de Abastecimiento y Producción - CLAP), was used by "Maduro and his family members to steal from the Venezuelan people," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a July 25 news release.

The latest actions taken by the Treasury Department are part of a wide range of economic sanctions deployed to pressure Maduro into leaving power.

InSight Crime Analysis

By targeting the president's family members and linking them to widespread corruption, the US government is adding to the reams of evidence that Maduro has used the presidency to illicitly enrich his family and close associates. 

Accusations against the children and other relatives of Maduro and Flores have piled up over the years. In 2017, Flores' nephews were sentenced to 18 years in prison on US drug trafficking charges. The pair were accused of plotting to ship 800 kilograms of cocaine to the United States.

SEE ALSO: Venezuela Intelligence Chief Exposes Organized Crime Links in Maduro Govt

Sanctions against the president's family members began in September 2018, when first lady Cilia Flores had her assets frozen. Flores' sons are now accused of playing a part in the massive food import scheme. 

Maduro Guerra is believed to have been involved in the manipulation of Venezuela's gold trade. Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, the former chief of Venezuela’s intelligence services who deserted in April after a failed opposition uprising, told the Washington Post that an assistant of the president's son set up a company to buy gold from illegal miners. The gold was then sold to Venezuela's central bank at inflated rates. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 12 APR 2022

With a near unprecedented wave of arrests, the El Salvador government is doubling down and expanding on heavy-handed security policies,…

ELITES AND CRIME / 25 JAN 2022

A fugitive former minister linked to a multi-million dollar cash seizure has turned himself over to Guatemalan authorities at an…

EL KOKI / 14 MAR 2022

In December 2021, residents of Tejerías, a small city in the northern state of Aragua, Venezuela, started to notice strange…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Contributes Expertise Across the Board 

22 SEP 2023

This week InSight Crime investigators Sara García and María Fernanda Ramírez led a discussion of the challenges posed by Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s “Total Peace” plan within urban contexts. The…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Cited in New Colombia Drug Policy Plan

15 SEP 2023

InSight Crime’s work on emerging coca cultivation in Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela was cited in the Colombian government’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Discusses Honduran Women's Prison Investigation

8 SEP 2023

Investigators Victoria Dittmar and María Fernanda Ramírez discussed InSight Crime’s recent investigation of a massacre in Honduras’ only women’s prison in a Twitter Spaces event on…

THE ORGANIZATION

Human Trafficking Investigation Published in Leading Mexican Newspaper

1 SEP 2023

Leading Mexican media outlet El Universal featured our most recent investigation, “The Geography of Human Trafficking on the US-Mexico Border,” on the front page of its August 30…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime's Coverage of Ecuador Leads International Debate

25 AUG 2023

This week, Jeremy McDermott, co-director of InSight Crime, was interviewed by La Sexta, a Spanish television channel, about the situation of extreme violence and insecurity in Ecuador…