Trump Bullies Venezuela With Sanctions Before Leaving Office

The U.S. updated its economic bullying against oil entities and businessmen for allegedly having acted against the sanctions imposed by Washington.

One day before leaving the White House, President Donald Trump attacked Venezuela by updating sanctions and economic restrictions against three individuals, fourteen entities, and six vessels.

The sanctioned companies and individuals are accused of allegedly belonging to a network led by Alex Saab, who is accused of trading Venezuelan crude while evading the penalties imposed on PDVSA in 2019.

This Colombian businessman was charged with money laundering and is in prison in Cape Verde awaiting extradition to the US.

Among those sanctioned is also the Italian citizen Alessandro Bazzoni, whom the Treasury accuses of serving as an intermediary between the company Element, which was bought by PDVSA, and Swissoil, which transported Venezuelan crude to the Asian market.

Also sanctioned were the Spanish citizen Francisco D’Agostino, who worked with Saab to coordinate the purchase and sale of crude oil on behalf of PDVSA; and the Swiss citizen Philipp Vartan, who owns Swissoil, the company accused of selling and transporting oil from Venezuela.

“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),” the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated.

“Any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 per cent or more by the designated individuals and entities, are also blocked,” it added.


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