The U.S. announced sanctions targeting Russian oil company Rosneft’s trading unit, Rosneft Trading S.A., on February 18 and the Venezuelan state-run airline Conviasa on February 7.
Both actions aim to stop the flow of money to the former Maduro regime and compel Nicolás Maduro to allow free and fair elections.
Rosneft Trading S.A. facilitates the “trading, processing, and transport of raw materials, in particular unrefined petroleum and petroleum products,” between Venezuela and other countries, according to the Treasury Department. In this way, the Russian oil company props up the former regime, which enables Maduro to further repress the Venezuelan people.
Today we sanctioned Russian-owned oil firm Rosneft Trading S.A., cutting off Maduro’s main lifeline to evade our sanctions on the Venezuelan oil sector. Those who prop up the corrupt regime and enable its repression of the Venezuelan people will be held accountable.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 18, 2020
State-run airline Conviasa ferries “Maduro and his inner circle to confer with dictators, authoritarian regimes, and other criminals around the world,” said Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo in a statement.
Under these sanctions, U.S. persons may not charter, contract, refuel or purchase anything from the airline.
“The United States remains firmly committed to the people of Venezuela and to the cause of freedom there,” said the State Department’s special representative to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. “We look forward to the day when Venezuela is free and all our sanctions can be lifted.”