The US sanctions two officials close to Nayib Bukele

(CNN Spanish) — The United States Department of the Treasury reported this Friday that it sanctioned two officials close to the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, considering that they are involved in possible acts of corruption and human rights violations.

They are the Minister of Labor, Rolando Castro, and the Legal Secretary of the Presidency, Conan Castro.

The United States Department of the Treasury sanctions Rolando Castro for misappropriating public funds for his own benefit, for manipulating unions for personal political purposes and in favor of the Bukele government, as explained in a statement from the Office of Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC), also disclosed in El Salvador by the United States embassy in that Central American country.

Castro used his Twitter account to challenge the decision. “The Department of the Treasury without jurisdiction in labor matters and says sanction for delivery or not of credentials.”

After the sanctions, the Treasury Department can freeze assets, if they are in US territory, as well as prohibit the entry of those sanctioned and their close relatives to the North American country. This decision is supported by the Magnitsky Law, which authorizes the cancellation of visas to foreigners linked to cases of corruption and human rights violations.

“To the people of the United States, my respect and appreciation. I tell your government, freeze my bank accounts in your country, I authorize you, ”Castro added in his message.

In the case of Conan Castro, Legal Secretary of the Presidency, the US authorities point him out for hindering investigations into possible mismanagement of public funds used by the government to attend to the covid-19 emergency. After the publication of the sanctions, Castro has not spoken. CNN awaits a response to the request for comments from Castro and the government through the Secretariat of Communications of the Presidency of El Salvador.

In December 2021, the United States government sanctioned other officials for alleged links to acts of corruption, including Carolina Recinos, Chief of Staff of the Bukele government.

“It is clear that the government of the United States does not accept collaboration, friendship or alliance. It is absolute submission or nothing. These daily accusations are seen to be absurd. I did not know that they were so interested in El Salvador. Perhaps what interests them is to stop the ‘bad example'”, Bukele then wrote on his Twitter account.

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