On June 2, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated four maritime companies and blocked four vessels that have supported the Maduro regime’s oil operations in Venezuela, pursuant to Executive Order 13850, as amended. According to Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, the designations were made to target those who support the “illegitimate” regime of President Maduro and his exploitation of Venezuela’s natural resources for the regime’s profit. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo also addressed the designations, and described the reason for the sanctions as the theft of Venezuela’s oil assets by the Maduro regime, explaining that anyone who facilitates this theft risks losing access to the US financial system.
As a result of these sanctions, all US property for the designated entities is blocked, and all transactions with US persons are generally prohibited. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by designated companies are also blocked.