The U.S. Department of Treasury has tightened sanctions against PDVSA. The executive department warned that diluent imports brought by international ships could be subject to more punitive actions from Washington.
This shift constitutes the most recent U.S. measure to limit Venezuela’s access to oil revenues.
More sanctions against the oil company
The Department of Treasury informed that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending General License 7A, executive order number 13850 “authorizing certain activities involving PDV Holding and Citgo Holding”. However, it offered no details regarding the parts of the license that will be modified.
The OFAC will also amend General License 8, “authorizing transactions involving PDVSA prohibited under executive order 13850 for certain entities operating in Venezuela”. As well as General License 13, “authorizing certain activities involving Nynas AB.”
Security Advisor announces new measures
Meanwhile, U.S. Security Advisor John Bolton said that the United States will continue to tighten sanctions against the Venezuelan oil industry “until democracy is restored.”
The United States will continue tightening sanctions on oil and its derivatives until freedom and democracy are restored in Venezuela. International companies that continue doing business with sanctioned PDVSA are on notice. https://t.co/ebG5WFfJTY
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) 7 de junio de 2019
The Trump Administration has approved a number of sanctions against PDVSA, as well as other punitive actions against Venezuelan leaders over human rights violations, drug traffic, and corruption. In recent months, however, it has focused on the oil industry, the country’s main source of income.
Cuba on target
On June 4, John Bolton accused the Cuban regime of being behind the crisis in Venezuela. The official insisted that President Donald Trump “stands with Cuban and Venezuelan citizens fighting for freedom.”
Bolton informed that the Trump Administration advanced in the implementation of policies aimed at “ending veiled tourism to Cuba and imposing restrictions on vessels. We will continue to take actions to restrict the Cuban regime’s access to U.S. dollars.”
That same day, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that his country has made amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations “Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere…”
According to Mnuchin, Havana continues to provide “a communist foothold in the region and propping up U.S. adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes.”
These sanctions ban U.S. citizens from making cultural contact and educational travel Cuba, also known as people to people. Under Trump’s restrictions cruises, private yachts, and small fishing vessels are not allowed to stop in Cuba.
With these new sanctions, Cuba is now more vulnerable. Tourism is the most dynamic sector in its economy, practically the only one that brings revenue, and it has been weakened.
Sanctions against PDVSA are part of a strategy
The sanctions that the U.S. government imposed against PDVSA, as well as other measures aimed at the Nicola Maduro regime and the governments of Cuba and Nicaragua are not isolated events. They are part Donald Trump’s global strategy to eliminate left-wing regimes in the West.
On March 26, after a meeting with Brazil’s defense minister Fernando Azevedo Bolton stated that Nicolas Maduro’s days as President of Venezuela “are numbered.”
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