OFAC slaps sanctions on Venezuelan oil firm with aim of preventing diversion of assets

Sanctions against the Venezuelan oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) were placed by the Treasury Department’s financial intelligence and enforcement agency Monday, as the administration of President Donald Trump aims to take action against the ruling regime in the country.

“The United States is holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline, and will continue to use the full suite of its diplomatic and economic tools to support Interim President Juan Guaidó, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore their democracy,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in a statement, announcing the sanctions by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

“Today’s designation of PdVSA will help prevent further diverting of Venezuela’s assets by Maduro and preserve these assets for the people of Venezuela,” Mnuchin added. “The path to sanctions relief for PdVSA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the Interim President or a subsequent, democratically elected government.”

Treasury pointed out that, as with previous OFAC designations of certain Venezuelan officials and their supporters, U.S. sanctions need not be permanent.  “Sanctions are intended to change behavior,” Mnuchin stated. “The United States has made it clear that we will consider lifting sanctions for those who take concrete, meaningful, and verifiable actions to support democratic order and combat corruption in Venezuela, including PdVSA.”

Treasury Sanctions Venezuela’s State-Owned Oil Company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.