The U.S. instructs foreign firms to cut dealings with Venezuela

sanctions

The U.S. government has instructed oil trading houses and refiners all over the world to further cut dealings Venezuelan oil or they could face sanctions, even if this trade is not banned under the published U.S sanctions, sources familiar with the matter said.

The move comes at a time in which Washington’s efforts to depose President Nicolas Maduro in favor of opposition leader Juan Guaido have stalled. It is also evidence of how the Donald Trump administration is leaning on non-U.S firms to achieve its foreign policy goals.

The United States imposed new sanctions on the Venezuelan oil industry early in the year. However, some companies have continued to supply fuel to this South American nation from countries like India, Russia, and Eastern Europe.

The U.S. government is particularly interested in stopping all deliveries of gasoline and the refined products used to dilute Venezuela’s heavy oil in order to export it.

Sources revealed that diesel and jet fuel fuel will be exempted from these sanctions for humanitarian reasons.

Fresh sanctions accumulate against the government of Maduro

Two weeks ago, the U.S. revealed plans to incorporate new and “very significant” sanctions against financial institutions with regards to Venezuela. Back then, U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams did not reveal details on the new measures announced.

Nonetheless, this warning came a day after the U.S. Department of State sanctioned Russian bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank. This entity was added to the sanction list for aiding Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA avoid U.S. financial restrictions.

Furthermore, Abrams stated that Washington was preparing to revoke U.S. visas to individuals aligned with President Maduro. Abrams’ statements coincided with a Venezuelan order that U.S. officials should leave the country immediately.

Trump had warned of “tougher sanctions” for those engaging in business with Venezuela

Recently, President Donald Trump said his government had still not applied “the toughest” sanctions against the Nicolas Maduro regime.

On February 26 he stated: “We haven't done the toughest of sanctions, as you know”. He said this after a meeting with Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro during his official visit to the United States.

The Brazilian President discussed this matter not only with Trump, but also with the Secretary General of the American States (OAS) Luis Almagro; as well as the press, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and even senior CIA officers. Meanwhile, Trump told the press that he spoke on behalf of both nations when he said that “all options are on the table.”

For more information, check Energía16

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