(CNN Spanish) – The US Treasury Department reported on Friday that it has sanctioned two officials close to El Salvador’s president, Neb Bukele, saying they were involved in corruption and possible human rights abuses.
They are the Minister of Labor, Rolando Castro, and the Legal Secretary to the Presidency, Conan Castro.
The US Treasury Department is sanctioning Rolando Castro for embezzling public funds for his own benefit, and for manipulating unions for personal political purposes and for the benefit of the Bukele government, as indicated in a statement from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which was also disclosed in El Salvador by the US Embassy. in that country in Central America.
Castro used his own Twitter account to appeal the decision. “The Treasury Department has no jurisdiction in labor matters and says the penalty for handing over or not handing over credentials.”
After the sanctions, the Treasury Department can freeze assets, if they are on US soil, as well as ban entry to the North American country of those subject to sanctions and their relatives. This decision supports the Magnitsky Act, which authorizes the revocation of visas for foreigners linked to corruption cases and human rights abuses.
To the people of the United States, my respect and appreciation. I tell your government to freeze my bank accounts in your country, I declare to you.
In the case of Conan Castro, Legal Secretary to the Presidency of the Republic, he was directed by the US authorities to obstruct investigations into possible mismanagement of public funds used by the government to confront the Covid-19 emergency. After the sanctions were published, Castro did not speak up. CNN is awaiting a response to a request for comment from Castro and the government through the El Salvadoran Presidency’s Communications Secretariat.
In December 2021, the United States government imposed sanctions on other officials for their alleged links to acts of corruption, including Carolina Recinos, Chief of Staff of the Bukele government.
“It is clear that the US government does not accept cooperation, friendship or alliance. It is absolute submission or nothing. These daily accusations are seen as ridiculous. I didn’t know they were so interested in El Salvador. Maybe what they care about is stopping the ‘bad example'” Bukele wrote on his Twitter account.
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