More US sanctions on Venezuelan oil

On Friday April 12th the US announced more sanctions on shipping companies found to be transporting oil from Venezuela. The US Treasury blacklisted four shipping companies and nine vessels. It said that some of these had carried oil to Cuba.

The US Treasury identified the firms as Liberia-based Jennifer Navigation Ltd, Lima Shipping Corp and Large Range Ltd, and Italy-based PB Tankers SpA.

It blacklisted one tanker belonging to each of the Liberian firms and six owned by the Italian firm.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that “we continue to target companies that transport Venezuelan oil to Cuba, as they are profiting while the Maduro regime pillages natural resources”.

The sanctions prohibit dealings with the firms by US citizens and block the companies’ financial interests in the US.

The US and several other Western nations have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the rightful president of Venezuela, although Maduro remains de facto in charge.

Venezuela sends subsidized crude oil to Cuba, an arrangement said by the US to be an “oil-for-repression” scheme, under which the Cuban government helps Maduro survive in exchange for fuel.