New round of US sanctions targets Venezuelan oil shipped to Cuba

US Treasury says Cuba-based entities are circumventing sanctions on Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA.

    The United States slapped sanctions on Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA in January [File: Isaac Urrutia/Reuters]
    The United States slapped sanctions on Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA in January [File: Isaac Urrutia/Reuters]

    The United States Department of the Treasury targeted four groups and four vessels on Tuesday for moving Venezuelan oil to Cuba in violation of Washington's sanctions, it said in a statement.

    Since the US imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA) in January, Cuba-based entities including Cuba's state-run oil import and export company, Cubametales "have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela,"  according to the US Treasury statement.

    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US is continuing to take action against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who Washington considers an illegitimate ruler.

    "Maduro’s Cuban benefactors provide a lifeline to the regime and enable its repressive security and intelligence apparatus," Mnuchin said in a statement.

    "Venezuela’s oil belongs to the Venezuelan people, and should not be used as a bargaining tool to prop up dictators and prolong the usurpation of Venezuelan democracy."

    The sanctioned entities targeted by Tuesday's round of sanctions include Caroil Transport Marine Ltd of Cyprus and three Panama-based groups: Trocana World Inc, Tovase Development Corp and Bluelane Overseas SA.  

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency