Sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela will remain until they restore political and religious freedom according to US President Donald Trump.
“We’re confronting rogue regimes and we are challenging the communist dictatorship of Cuba and the socialist oppression of Venezuela,” Trump told a conservative political conference this week. “And we will not lift the sanctions on these repressive regimes until they restore political and religious freedom for their people,” Trump said.
And he’s getting assistancew from Venezuela’s former chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega. SHE said her team had supplied the US with evidence “compromising” top officials in the leftist administration of President Nicolas Maduro.
The Trump administration has already slapped sanctions on Venezuelan officials for alleged corruption and rights abuses, so news Ortega has been providing information to Washington is likely to irk Maduro’s unpopular government.
Asked if she was sharing information about corruption in the Maduro administration with Washington, including graft linked to food imports for the shortages-hit country, Ortega said meetings have taken place.
“The prosecutors in Colombia with me … have been meeting with prosecutors from the US and some other countries to exchange information,” Ortega told reporters after meeting United Nations rights boss Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein in Geneva.
“We’ve supplied them with a mix of evidence that compromises high-level government officials,” she said, adding she planned to visit the US.
Ortega, 59, was removed from her post in August after breaking with Maduro earlier this year in a dramatic split the opposition said evidenced Venezuela’s swerve into dictatorship.
She went into hiding before fleeing the country on a speedboat to the Caribbean island of Aruba and going on to Colombia. Since then, she has been travelling around the region denouncing the Maduro government for persecuting her and engaging in corruption.