The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s military counter-intelligence agency following the death in custody of a Venezuelan navy captain amid allegations of torture.
The U.S. Treasury said on its website that it had sanctioned the General Directorate of Military Counter-intelligence. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the “politically motivated arrest and tragic death” of Rafael Acosta was “unwarranted and unacceptable.”
President Nicolas Maduro’s government confirmed the death on June 29 of Acosta, who was arrested eight days earlier for alleged participation in a coup plot. Human rights organizations and political leaders have accused Maduro’s government of torturing Acosta to death and refusing to clarify the circumstances.
Maduro says the United State seeks to replace him with a puppet government headed by opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido amid an economic war against his socialist country.