The chief of staff of the armed forces of Venezuela, Remigio Ceballos, sanctioned by the EU-Noticias

The European Union (EU) this Monday approved new sanctions against Venezuela, in particular against 19 senior officials, including the operational strategic commander of the Bolivarian National Forces (CEOFANB), Remigio Ceballos, military leader and strong arm of President Nicols Mature’s government.

Ceballos has the rank of Admiral and serves as Chief of Staff of the (CEOFANB). He is also a member of the Venezuelan Marines and his career profile states that he received military training in the United States and Israel and was Commander of the Bolivarian Navy of the Infantera de las Operations of the Naval Command of the Bolivarian Naval General Command.

On November 5, 2019, Ceballos was also sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. On that occasion, the Council of the European Union extended sanctions against Venezuela to include judges, politicians and the military, accusing them, including Ceballos, of undermining the opposition’s voting rights and the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, taking seriously human rights violations and restrictions of fundamental freedoms, the European Council said in a statement.

Executives of the security forces such as the General Directorate for Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM), the Special Actions Forces (FAES) of the National Police and the Science, Criminal and Investigative Corps were included in the restrictive measures. Criminalistics (CICPC) included.

With this new announcement of sanctions, the EU list goes from 36 to 55 Venezuelan-designate officials; According to Roco San Miguel, lawyer and president of the NGO Citizen Control for security, defense and national armed forces, there are now 19 soldiers sanctioned by Brussels.

With the sanctions imposed yesterday, Monday, February 22, against the CEOFANB commander, Admiral-in-Chief Remigio Ceballos Ichaso, the number of Venezuelan military personnel sanctioned by the European Union rose to 19 and the number of those sanctioned by the states of the United States Military members of the international community up to 55 (USA, Canada, Panama, Switzerland and the EU), wrote San Miguel on his personal Twitter account, a researcher into the military question of Venezuela.

Social Watch records show that the list of Venezuelan military personnel sanctioned by the international community from 2008 to date includes some active, others in an active reserve situation who have been humiliated or expelled from the national armed forces.

As a result of these sanctions, the NGO said, many of them were frozen in their interests and characteristics, visas were suspended and any kind of relationship with US persons or institutions was prohibited. Some have been blamed for human rights abuses in the wave of anti-government protests in 2017, others for suspected corruption crimes that undermine democracy and others for serious crimes.

Caraca’s response to the EU

The President of Venezuela, Nicols Maduro, protested the international sanctions against his government. He asserted that his country had been subjected to more than 450 coercive measures designed to exert excessive pressure and persecution against him and denounced this during his intervention before the 46th virtual session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Maduro called these measures illegal and stated that they had deliberate humanitarian effects.

Make sure that due to the blockade, your administration does not have access to funds in foreign accounts and is not allowed to operate in the international financial system. Venezuela has been withheld at least $ 30,000 million in cash, which is part of the republic’s property abroad and which must be used to ensure health, nutrition and comprehensive rights, repeats the United Nations.

For her part, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister emphasized in a statement that the EU’s decision should influence the political dialogue in the country. Pointing out honest citizens with wrong arguments (…) is nothing more than another clumsy decision (). They are in response to the frustration of a group of member states (the bloc) over the apparent ineffectiveness of their actions to force a violent change of government in Venezuela is expressed in the document.

These new EU sanctions, although individual, will be imposed weeks after UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan’s visit to Venezuela when she called on the United States and the European Union to review the sanctions imposed on the Caribbean country as they were in breach of international law and for exacerbating the disasters of Venezuelans.

However, the EU country bloc council ensures that the announced measures are not intended to have any adverse humanitarian or unintended consequences for Venezuelans and says they can be lifted. The European Union will continue to work with and participate in all interested parties in Venezuela in order to promote peaceful dialogue and a democratic and sustainable solution to the crisis in the country, the EU declaration stressed. (Thiany Rodrguez, Caracas)

Photo: Remigio Ceballos, Operational Strategic Commander of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (CEOFANB)

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