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EU expands Venezuela targeted sanctions list: Update

  • Market: Crude oil, Oil products
  • 22/02/21

Adds Venezuelan foreign ministry reaction.

The EU has added 19 Venezuelan officials to its targeted sanctions list, including the governor of oil-producing Zulia state Oman Prieto.

Prieto is accused of promoting fraudulent parliamentary elections in December last year, persecuting opposition figures and threatening to secede should US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido succeed in installing an interim government in Caracas.

Zulia state encompasses the Lake Maracaibo region, site of Venezuela's oldest oil fields.

Other newly targeted officials include top military commander Remigio Ceballos and members of the "non-democratically elected National Assembly" Jose Brito and Jose Bernabe Gutierrez. The latter two intervened to replace the leadership of two opposition parties Accion Democratica and Primero Justicia.

Officials of the government-controlled supreme court and national electoral council, as well as special forces (FAES) and counter-intelligence were among the others added to the list, which now totals 55. The EU sanctions involve asset freezes and travel bans.

The move coincides with a Venezuela sanctions review underway in Washington, where the new US administration is re-examining the impact of the "maximum pressure" policies of its predecessor.

The US imposed oil sanctions on Venezuela in late January 2019, and closed off an exception for non-US companies to engage in crude-for-diesel swaps with Venezuela's state-owned PdV in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Critics of the move warn that the low-sulphur diesel previously supplied by India's Reliance and EU firms Repsol and Eni was vital for power generation, public transport and agricultural activity. Supporters say PdV produces enough diesel to ensure basic needs.

The US and EU are seeking to force Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to hold free and fair elections. Behind the scenes, the Guaido-led opposition is in talks with the Venezuelan health ministry, the Pan-American Health Organization and Unicef to access and distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

In response to today's action, Venezuela's foreign ministry denounced the EU's "arbitrary" sanctions which it described as part of "systematic aggression" against the Venezuelan people. The ministry cited a 12 February call by special UN rapporteur Alena Douhan for the US and EU to lift unilateral sanctions on Venezuela.


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TotalEnergies agrees to sell stake in Nigeria SPDC JV

TotalEnergies agrees to sell stake in Nigeria SPDC JV

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17/07/24

China’s CNOOC gets record gas results from Bohai well

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Aumentan importaciones de combustible en México


16/07/24
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16/07/24

Aumentan importaciones de combustible en México

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Tanker owner denies Houthi attack in Med


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16/07/24

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New Libyan firm starts exporting crude


16/07/24
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16/07/24

New Libyan firm starts exporting crude

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