U.S. harms business between Cuba and Venezuela

The United States Treasury Department announced on Wednesday (3) The imposition of sanctions on Cuban state-owned company Cubametales for the continuous importation of Venezuelan oil and support to the Government of Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro.

“Sanctions will harm Maduro’s attempts to use Venezuelan oil as a bargaining chip to buy protection from Cuba and other wicked foreign actors,” he added.

Cubametales is responsible for ensuring total imports and exports of fuels to and from Cuba, according to the U.S. government.

As a consequence of this measure, the assets that the company has under American jurisdiction are frozen and the financial transactions with American entities are prohibited.

The Treasury Department stressed that since January 2019, when it announced sanctions against the also state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela S. A. (PDVSA), Cubametales and other Cuban entities continued to support Maduro through oil orders from Venezuela.

In addition, Washington indicated that it had taken from its blacklist the petroleum shipping company PB Tankers S.P.A. (PB Tankers), based in Italy, after the disruption of the business relationship with Cubametales.

In this sense, Mnuchin stressed that the unlocking to PB Tankers “is a reminder that the positive changes in behavior can result in the end of sanctions.”

Since his arrival at the White House in January 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump raised the pressure on Caracas and imposed economic sanctions on more than 100 Venezuelan officials and senior positions close to Maduro, including his wife, first Lady Cilia Flowers.

In addition, he aimed at Venezuela’s main source of income, oil, with sanctions against the PDVSA and pressed for the revocation of visas to Venezuelan officials.

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