USA tightens Venezuela again and includes four shipping companies and four ships on his blacklist because of their ties to the South American country.
Through a statement, the US Treasury Department announced on Tuesday that Washington considers the exploitation of Venezuela’s crude oil to benefit the government of Bolivarian President Nicolás Maduro “unacceptable” and has warned that “those who facilitate these activities risk losing access to the US financial system.”
The sanctioned vessels are: the Athens Voyager tanker, which sails under the flag of Panama; Chios, with that of Malta; Sea Hero, with that of the Bahamas; and Voyager I, with that of the Marshall Islands.
Meanwhile, selected entities include: Afranav Maritime, Adamant Maritime, Sanibel Shiptrade, registered in the Marshall Islands; and the fourth, Seacomer, based in Greece.
These sanctions add to a long list of top Venezuelan officials and entities to which the US accuses of being involved in the oil trade, a vital income for the economy of the Caribbean country and that has been six years of economic contraction as a result of Washington’s coercive measures to defenestrate the Maduro government.
In this sense, Washington has imposed harsh sanctions against the state-owned company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), which includes freezing its funds and sanctions against its ships.
Before presenting the sanctions, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, urged the international community to increase pressure against Venezuelan president until he resigned.
Maduro, whose presidency is supported by Russia and China, among other nations, has denounced that the US uses sanctions to overthrow him and put in place a ruler who will allow him to seize Venezuela’s sovereign assets.
The policy of sanctions against Venezuelan oil sector, threats and coercion by the US Administration, chaired by Donald Trump, against countries that buy crude oil from Venezuela and supply the spare parts requirements of refineries in the Caribbean country, have exposed Caracas to economic suffocation.
In view of this situation, Iran has sent five tankers to Venezuela, loaded with nearly 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and additives, to alleviate the great fuel shortage that the South American nation suffers.
Maduro promised on Monday that he will visit Iran when sanitary conditions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, causing COVID-19, allow him to do so, in order to “personally thank” the shipment.