U.S. Tightens Venezuela Sanctions
More Venezuelans join the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list of sanctioned individuals. A new executive order prohibits U.S. dealings in Venezuelan government stocks and bonds.
The U.S. continued to ratchet up Venezuela sanctions with the aim of achieving political change by exerting economic pressure on the government.
Last month, the U.S. government signaled it was ready to place persons participating in Venezuela’s new National Constituent Assembly (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, or ANC) on the OFAC list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) subject to sanctions that freeze their U.S. assets and bar U.S. persons from doing business with them.
On August 9th, OFAC announced the addition of eight more Venezuelans to the SDN list, including the Rector of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, the Commander of the Special Unit to the Federal Legislative Palace of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard, and six constituents of the newly formed Constituent Assembly.
On August 24th, President Trump signed an executive order barring dealings by U.S. persons or within the U.S. in new bonds and stocks issued by Venezuela’s government and its state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), the parent of Citgo. U.S. officials said the new Venezuela sanctions ensure that U.S. financial institutions cannot be used to help finance or underwrite Venezuelan President Maduro’s expansion of undemocratic rule.
OFAC published four related general licenses authorizing transactions otherwise prohibited under the new executive order – for example, activities necessary to wind down existing contracts, or the export of agricultural commodities, medicines and medical devices. OFAC has also released FAQs regarding compliance with the new sanctions.
President Maduro has said that the new Venezuela sanctions will lead to a halt in oil exports to the U.S., reports the BBC. According to a report from ClipperData (citing our data), Venezuelan flows to the U.S. had been averaging just over 700,000 barrels per day at mid-year, most bound for Gulf Coast refiners. Some 74% of Venezuelan deliveries went to six refineries:
- S. OFAC SDN List of Sanctioned Venezuelans Lengthens
- Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) – What they are and why compliance is urgent
- Descartes MK Denied Party Screening™ continuously updates a database of sanctions, denied and restricted parties – available via web-based Software as a Service (SaaS)
Date posted: August 28, 2017