Washington has sanctioned Nicolas ‘Nicolasito’ Maduro, the son of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, its latest effort in a dwindling campaign to force Maduro Senior from power.
“Maduro relies on his son Nicolasito and others close to his authoritarian regime to maintain a stranglehold on the economy and suppress the people of Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated on Friday. “Treasury will continue to target complicit relatives of illegitimate regime insiders profiting off of Maduro’s corruption.”
The 29-year-old Maduro Jr. serves as a member of Venezuela’s Constituent National Assembly (CNA), a legislature staffed entirely by Maduro loyalists after Opposition withdraw from that election. The US already sanctioned eight Venezuelan officials responsible for establishing the Constituent National Assembly in 2017, and Washington considers the opposition-led National Assembly –a parallel legislature– the only acceptable institution in Venezuela.
The latest crack of the economic whip comes after the Trump administration’s initial fervor for deposing Maduro seems to have all but fizzled out. After throwing its support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido earlier this year and repeatedly declaring “all options are on the table” when it comes to ousting Maduro, Washington has since reverted to ratcheting up sanctions in a bid to squeeze the Latin American country further.
Neither Guaido’s attempts to rally Venezuelan dissidents for a coup nor Washington’s economic penalties have succeeded in dislodging Maduro, whose hands remain firmly on the levers of power in Caracas.