Just a week after the United States levied additional sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to curb its oil exports, the US has again hit shipping companies doing business with Venezuela with even more sanctions aimed at further plugging the holes that allow Venezuela to export crude oil to Cuba.
This go around, the US targeted four shipping companies and nine vessels in its latest attempt to cut off the revenue stream of what the US Department of the Treasury refers to as “the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro”.
Those entities include Jennifer Navigation Ltd (Liberia), Lime Shipping Corp (Liberia), Large Range Ltd (Liberia), and PB Tankers S.P.A. (Italy).
“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these entities, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated entities, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked “ the Treasury statement read in part.
The move comes after reports surfaced earlier on Friday that Venezuela was still shipping crude oil to ally Cuba in the amount of 1 million barrels just days after the US levied sanctions on Venezuela-to-Cuba oil shipments in what is quickly becoming a weekly Little Dutch Boy event.
The close-knit ties between ideological allies Cuba and Venezuela is proving more complicated that earlier sanctions that targeted shipments from Venezuela to the United States and its allies.
Officially recognized by the United States as the rightful president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido last month said that he had decreed the suspension of crude oil shipments to Cuba, but Maduro is particularly motivated to ship oil to Cuba under a long-standing barter agreement dating back to the Chavez/Castro days that ships oil to Cuba in exchange for highly skilled labor that Cuba possesses.
Venezuela is Cuba’s largest oil supplier, and Cuba one of Venezuela’s few remaining friends.