US imposes more sanctions on Venezuela’s military intelligence agency

The U.S. on Friday imposed sanctions on members of Venezuela’s military intelligence agency.

BOGOTA, Colombia _ The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on four senior officials of Venezuela’s military intelligence agency, DGCIM, following the death of a navy captain who was allegedly tortured to death.

The four were named as Division Gen. Rafael Ramon Blanco Marrero, Col. Hannover Esteban Guerrero Mijares, Major Alexander Enrique Granko Arteaga and Col. Rafael Antonio Franco Quintero.

Their property and interests in property in the United States will be blocked, the Treasury Department said.

“The United States will continue to hold individuals accountable who are involved in the … use of intimidation and repression to target and silence political opponents, innocent civilians, and members of the military,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The statement referred to the death in custody on June 29 of navy captain Rafael Acosta, who was allegedly tortured to death.

The U.S. Treasury Department had already imposed sanctions on the DGCIM following the incident.

Norway meanwhile said that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government and the opposition would continue talks mediated by Oslo.

The goal is to work continuously and “as fast as possible,” according to the statement issued late Thursday.

“We stress the need for the parties to be as cautious as possible in their comments and statements related to the process,” the Norwegian government said.

“We continue the dialogue and confirm that we shall fully respect the established guidelines. We urge everyone to look after this negotiating effort between Venezuelans,” the country’s information minister, Jorge Rodriguez, tweeted.

The government and the opposition, headed by Juan Guaido, have been holding talks in Barbados this month.

Maduro, who has presided over a massive economic crisis, won a second term in a disputed election held last year. Guaido declared himself interim president in January and won the support of dozens of countries for his campaign to oust Maduro.

The government and opposition representatives held a previous round of talks in Oslo in May. At the time, the opposition showed little interest in negotiating with the government, stressing that the only solution was for Maduro to resign and fresh elections to be held.

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