September 25, 2021

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The United States Takes Further Action Against Enablers of Venezuelan Oil Transactions, Including Sanctions Evasion Network

16 min read

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The United States has sanctioned three individuals and 11 entities for their ties to a network helping Nicolas Maduro and his illegitimate regime evade U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector.  This action builds on previous sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in a sanctions-evasion scheme benefitting the illegitimate Maduro regime and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), which the regime uses as its primary conduit for corruption to exploit and profit from Venezuela’s natural resources.  The principal actors in the evasion network include Alessandro Bazzoni, Francisco Javier D’Agostino Casado, Philipp Paul Vartan Apikian, Elemento Ltd, and Swissoil Trading SA.

Additionally, OFAC is designating three companies located in Russia, Ukraine, and Venezuela, and identifying as blocked property six vessels that have recently been involved in the lifting and transport of Venezuelan oil.  This action aims to increase pressure on international shipping entities to disengage from the Venezuelan oil sector and further limit the illegitimate Maduro regime’s options for selling oil.

Those facilitating Maduro’s attempts to circumvent U.S. sanctions enable him to continue his repressive practices against the Venezuelan people while pillaging Venezuela’s resources to enrich himself and his cronies.  The United States remains committed to promoting accountability for those involved in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit Maduro and his corrupt network while contributing to the suffering of the Venezuelan people.  We will continue to use the full weight of U.S. economic and diplomatic power to promote the peaceful transition to a once-again free, prosperous, and stable Venezuela.

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