US slaps sanctions on Mexican firms, to Venezuelan oil

The US on Thursday blacklisted Mexico’s Libre Abordo and a related company. Accusing them of helping Caracas evade US sanctions within the first formal action. By the US Department of the Treasury against Mexican firms involved in trading Venezuelan oil.

The Treasury said during a statement it imposed sanctions on three individuals. Eight entities and two vessels for activities associated. With a network attempting to skirt US sanctions on Venezuela aimed toward ousting President Nicolas Maduro.

Among those blacklisted were Mexico-based Libre Abordo and related Schlager Business Group. Also as their co-owners, Olga Maria Zepeda and Veronica Esparza.

The Treasury also targeted Mexican Joaquin Leal Jimenez, accusing him of getting worked with Alex Saab, recently arrested in Cape Verde. Libre Abordo, and Schlager for brokering the resale of many barrels of Venezuelan crude.

A Maduro ally who has previously helped the govt take out. To a food program managed by Maduro’s administration. the govt has denied any wrongdoing in reference to the program.

Libre Abordo said its lawyers will evaluate the Treasury’s decision. Which it said wrongly linked the firm to unrelated entities.

The sanctions freeze any US assets of the individuals and entities and usually prohibit Americans from handling them.

Venezuelan oil for resale

Libre Abordo and Schlager began receiving Venezuelan oil for resale. In Asian markets late last year after signing two contracts. With Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in mid-2019.

Through May, Libre Abordo and Schlager received some 30 million barrels of Venezuelan oil, consistent with PDVSA’s documents. albeit they supplied about 500 water trucks in exchange. As very low oil prices affected a schedule originally planned, Libre Abordo said.

Reuters reported last month that the FBI was probing several Mexican and European companies allegedly involved in trading Venezuelan oil, gathering information for a Treasury inquiry.

Gasoline,” Venezuela’s secretary of state Jorge Arreaza said on Thursday. “Your actions and sanctions are criminal,” he told Pompeo over Twitter.

Maduro remains in power, backed by Venezuela’s military also as Russia, China, and Cuba.

“The us will still relentlessly pursue sanctions evaders,” Treasury Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich said within the statement.

Washington also targeted on Thursday Marshall Islands-based Delos Voyager Shipping Ltd. and Greece-based Romina Maritime Co Inc. for operating within the Venezuelan oil sector, giving them until July 21 to wind down activities.

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