Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified six vessels as blocked property of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13884, which blocks the property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela. Additionally, OFAC identified the vessel Esperanza as blocked property of Caroil Transport Marine Ltd., which was designated on September 24, 2019, pursuant to E.O. 13850 for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy. The Esperanza was previously listed as the Nedas on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, which was identified as blocked property on April 12, 2019.
“Cuba and the former Maduro regime continue trying to circumvent sanctions by changing the names of vessels and facilitating the movement of oil from Venezuela to Cuba,” said Treasury Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich. “The United States will continue to take necessary action to protect the people of Venezuela.”
Today’s action further targets the former Maduro regime’s corruption in the oil sector and the mechanisms used to transport oil to the Cuban regime in return for security and intelligence assistance, which is one of the remaining sources of support for the illegitimate former Maduro regime in Venezuela. It also shows Maduro’s priorities – providing cut-rate crude oil to the Cuban dictatorship, while people in Venezuela go hungry.
The following vessels are all PdVSA crude oil/products tankers that have recently delivered Venezuelan petroleum products to Cuba:
- Icaro (IMO 9038842)
- Luisa Caceres de Arismendi (IMO 9117578)
- Manuela Saenz (IMO 9117492)
- Paramaconi (IMO 9543512)
- Terepaima (IMO 9552496)
- Yare (IMO 9543500)
Venezuela and Cuba facilitate the movement of PdVSA oil from Venezuela to Cuba and skirt sanctions by changing the names of vessels. In the fall of 2019, Cuban officials were aware of the departure from Venezuela to Cuba of various vessels loaded with Venezuelan oil. These vessels included the Esperanza, Luisa Caceres De Arismendi, Manuela Saenz, Paramaconi, Terepaima and Yare. During this same time period, PdVSA invoiced Cubametales, the Cuban state-run oil import and export company, for roughly 1.3 million barrels of fuel oil delivered earlier in the summer of 2019. On July 3, 2019, OFAC designated Cubametales, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended, for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy. The vessels used to ship the oil were the Yare, Esperanza, Terepaima, and Icaro. The money received from the shipments was to be transferred into a Russian bank account.
OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.