The U.S. is sanctioning two men whose corrupt acts led to the electrical blackouts that have roiled Venezuela for months, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced June 27.

Several people standing in close group (© Ariana Cubillos/AP Images)
Luis Alfredo Motta Domínguez, center, in Caracas, Venezuela, in April. (© Ariana Cubillos/AP Images)

“The illegitimate Maduro regime exploits the public trust by plundering Venezuelan assets, enriching themselves, and watching idly as basic public systems needlessly and catastrophically fail,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

The men, Luis Alfredo Motta Domínguez, Venezuela’s former minister of electric power, and deputy minister Eustiquio José Lugo Gómez, have also been indicted in Florida on U.S. money-laundering charges.

Earlier in 2019, the Treasury Department sanctioned Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA, because members of the Maduro regime were illegally using its revenue. “Treasury will continue to target officials who exacerbate corruption at the expense of the Venezuelan people and knowingly fail to provide basic public services,” Mnuchin said.