Insider Business U.S. slaps sanctions on Cyprus firm over Venezuela

U.S. slaps sanctions on Cyprus firm over Venezuela

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on four maritime firms and vessels transporting Venezuelan oil to Cuba, including Cyprus-based Caroil Transport Marine Ltd.

Despite tough U.S. measures against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, Cuba’s state-run oil import and export company Cubametales and other Cuba-based entities “have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela,” the Treasury said in a statement.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States was continuing to take action against Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, whom Washington considers illegitimate. Venezuela’s congress chief, Juan Guaido, has been recognized by most Western nations as the OPEC-member country’s rightful leader.

“Venezuela’s oil… should not be used as a bargaining tool to prop up dictators and prolong the usurpation of Venezuelan democracy,” Mnuchin said in the statement.

One of the sanctioned entities is Cyprus-based Caroil Transport Marine Ltd and three vessels it operates – the Carlota C, Sandino and Petion – for allegedly carrying Venezuelan oil and fuel to Cuba, a trade banned under previous U.S. measures.

Two Panama-based groups, Trocana World Inc and Tovase Development Corp, were sanctioned for owning the three tankers. A third Panamanian firm, Bluelane Overseas SA, was also sanctioned along with a vessel it owns called the Giralt.

“(The) U.S. government implements brutal and genocidal policy of tightening the blockade and financial persecution, in addition to obstructing oil shipments to Cuba,” said Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel over Twitter.

Though trade between Venezuela and Cuba has not ceased amid sanctions, the flow of PDVSA’s oil has been insufficient to keep the Communist-ruled island well-supplied. Cubans have faced long lines at gas stations and for public transportation amid lack of vessels to receive imports.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday called President Maduro a “Cuban puppet.” Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza replied by saying his country would continue working with Cuba, and added that other countries in the region that recognize Guaido as leader were puppets of the United States.

Tankers Petion and Sandino were bought a decade ago by a Cuba-Venezuela transportation firm, Transalba, to carry Venezuelan oil to Cuba as part of a wide bilateral agreement signed by late Presidents Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these entities, that are in the United States … are blocked and must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),” the Treasury statement said.

The Treasury also delisted firms Serenity Maritime Limited, Lima Shipping Corp and vessel Leon Dias and New Hellas, which allegedly were involved in the Venezuela-Cuba trade. The firms had earlier discontinued business with Cubametales.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Scientific advisory committee to convene on Monday under President Anastasiades

Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, will preside on Monday morning over a meeting of the scientific advisory committee on COVID-19. According to CNA information, during the...

Polish medics depart for Slovakia to help mass testing

A group of 200 Polish medics departed for neighbouring Slovakia on Friday (January 22) to help in a week-long testing campaign in the central...

Highest death toll of COVID-19 patients recorded in December

A total of 24 people diagnosed with COVID-19 died in the second week of 2021, corresponding to 11% of the total death toll since...

Troodos ski resort ready to receive skiers after lifting of restrictive measures

The Troodos Ski Resort has been ready as of December to receive the first skiers when the restrictive measures are lifted and the epidemiological...

30-year-old arrested for breaking into and stealing from photo studio

A 30-year-old in Paphos has been remanded in custody for breaking into and stealing from a photo studio. The police are also looking for...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...