Venezuela sanctions

On Friday, Swiss authorities added the following individuals to its Venezuela sanctions program:

SSID: 290-40995 Name: Nestor Blanco Hurtado

Sex: M DOB: 26 Sep 1982 Identification document: ID card No. V-15222057, Venezuela Justification: Major in the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), operated alongside officials in the Directorate-General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) since at least Dec 2017. Responsible for serious human rights violations, including torture, the use of excessive force and the mistreatment of detainees in DGCIM facilities. Modifications: Listed on 11 Oct 2019

SSID: 290-41001 Name: Rafael Ramon Blanco Marrero

Sex: M DOB: 28 Feb 1968 Identification document: ID card No. V-6250588, Venezuela Justification: Deputy Director of the Directorate-General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) since at least Dec 2018 and Division General of the Venezuelan Bolivarian National Army since 5 Jul 2019. Responsible for serious human rights violations, including torture, the use of excessive force and the mistreatment of detainees in DGCIM facilities that were committed by DGCIM officials under his command. Linked to the death of Captain Acosta. Modifications: Listed on 11 Oct 2019

SSID: 290-41007 Name: Carlos Calderon

Sex: M

Justification: Senior office holder (referred to as Commissioner, Director and Director General) in the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN). Responsible for serious human rights violations, including torture, the use of excessive force and the mistreatment of detainees in SEBIN facilities. In particular, he participated in and was responsible for acts of torture and the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in El Helicoide, a SEBIN prison. Modifications: Listed on 11 Oct 2019

SSID: 290-41011 Name: Alexis Enrique Escalona Marrero

Sex: M DOB: 12 Oct 1962

Justification: Chief in Charge of the National Office Against Organized Crime and Terrorist Financing (ONDOFT). National Commander of the National Anti-Extortion and Kidnapping Command (Comando Nacional Antiextorsión y Secuestro (CONAS)) between 2014 and 2017. Responsible for serious human rights violations, including torture, excessive use of force and the mistreatment of detainees by members of CONAS under his command. Also responsible for the repression of civil society by members of CONAS under his command. Modifications: Listed on 11 Oct 2019

SSID: 290-41016 Name: Rafael Antonio Franco Quintero

Sex: M DOB: 14 Oct 1973 Identification document: ID card No. V-11311672, Venezuela Justification: Agent in the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN). Head of Investigations at the Directorate-General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) between at least 2017 and Dec 2018. Responsible for serious human rights violations, including torture, excessive use of force and the ill-treatment of detainees in DGCIM facilities by members of the DGCIM under his command. Also responsible for the repression of civil society and democratic opposition by members of the DGCIM under his command. Linked to the death of Captain Acosta. Modifications: Listed on 11 Oct 2019

SSID: 290-41022 Name: Alexander Enrique Granko Arteaga

Sex: M DOB: 25 Mar 1981 Identification document: ID card No. V-14970215, Venezuela Justification: Head (Director) of the Special Affairs Division (DAE) of the Directorate- General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)). Responsible for serious human rights violations, including torture, excessive use of force causing death and injury and the ill-treatment of detainees in DGCIM facilities committed by himself and also officials under his command. Also responsible for the repression of civil society by members of DGCIM under his command, as well as directly involved in such repression. Linked to the death of Captain Acosta. Modifications: Listed on 11 Oct 2019

SSID: 290-41028 Name: Hannover Esteban Guerrero Mijares

Sex: M DOB: 14 Jan 1971

Justification: Head of Investigations at the Directorate-General of Military Counter- Intelligence (Dirección General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) from at least Apr 2019 to Aug 2019. As Head of Investigations he supervised the DGCIM facility in Boleita. Responsible for serious human rights violations, including torture, excessive use of force and the ill-treatment of detainees committed by him and also by officials under his command, particularly in Boleita. Linked to the death of Captain Acosta. Modifications: Listed on 11 Oct 2019

And here is FINMA’s notice:

News

October 11, 2019 

International sanction

Updated sanction message

The Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research WBF has published an amendment to Annex 1 of the Ordinance of 28 March 2018 on Measures against Venezuela (SR 946.231.178.5).

On 10 October 2019, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (WBF) amended the list of persons, companies and organizations sanctioned in this context. The change is directly applicable in Switzerland. The WBF has therefore adjusted the Swiss sanctions database SESAM (SECO Sanctions Management), which is relevant for Switzerland, and published the adaptation on its website . This change will take effect on October 11, 2019 at 18:00.

Financial Intermediaries are requested to immediately block the relevant assets and to report such business relationships to SECO in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation. Notification to SECO does not release a financial intermediary from reimbursing reports to the Money Laundering Reporting Office without delay if the requirements are fulfilled, in accordance with Art. 9 of the Money Laundering Law.

Links:

FINMA Notice

Data files of updates – PDF, XML

So, according to this story (one of many), Adobe is going to cut off all Venezuelan customers. It looks like it’s struggling with the latest OFAC Executive Order, which blocks all assets of the “Government of Venezuela” – and that includes all associated persons (i.e. all government employees). And that seems to be the problem – because it can’t reliably tell government employees from other Venezuelans, Adobe is cutting off all business to the country.

Mr. Watchlist wonders – was this part of the Trump Administration’s machinations, or just a happy side effect?

General License 3 is up to revision G, while 9 is up to F.

The relevant paragraph in 3G says:

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (:f) of this general license, all transactions and activities prohibited by Section l(a)(iii) of E.O. 13808 or by E.O. 13850, each as amended, or by E.O. 13884 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of financial contracts or other agreements that were entered into prior to 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time on February 1, 2019, involving, or linked to, GL 3G Bonds are authorized. This authorization is valid through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 31, 2020.

And in 9F:

(d) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this general license, all transactions and activities prohibited by Section l(a)(iii) of E.O. 13808 or by E.O 13850, each as amended, or by E.O. 13884, that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of financial contracts or other agreements that were entered into prior to 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time on January 28, 2019, involving, or linked to, PdVSA securities are authorized. This authorization is valid through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 31, 2020.

In the previous versions of these licenses, these clauses were due to expire on September 30th.

Links:

OFAC Notice

General License 3G

General License 9F

The Department is publicly designating Raul Modesto Castro Ruz, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and General of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights.  Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign government officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.

The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their immediate family members.  In addition to the public designation of Raul Castro, the Department is also publicly designating his children, Alejandro Castro Espin, Deborah Castro Espin, Mariela Castro Espin, and Nilsa Castro Espin.

As First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, Raul Castro oversees a system that arbitrarily detains thousands of Cubans and currently holds more than 100 political prisoners.  As General of Cuba’s Armed Forces, Castro is responsible for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela through violence, intimidation, and repression.  In concert with Maduro’s military and intelligence officers, members of the Cuban security forces have been involved in gross human rights violations and abuses in Venezuela, including torture.  Castro is complicit in undermining Venezuela’s democracy and triggering the hemisphere’s largest humanitarian crisis, forcing 15 percent of the Venezuelan population to flee the country and precipitating a food shortage and health crisis of unprecedented scale in this region.

The United States strongly supports the rights of the Cuban and Venezuelan people.  We will continue to pursue all diplomatic and economic tools to help the Venezuelan people achieve the transition they deserve.

You have to wonder why the US government did this – they know it has minimal effect, if any. Is it just to show they’re being tough?

Link:

State Department Press Release

On Friday, UK regulators implemented Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1586 by adding the following 7 individuals:

1. HURTADO,NestorBlanco

DOB: 26/09/1982. National Identification no: V-15222057 Position: Major in the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) Other Information: Has operated alongside officials in the Directorate-General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Direccion General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) since at least December 2017 Listed on: 27/09/2019 Last Updated: 27/09/2019 Group ID: 13791.

2. MARRERO,RafaelRamonBlanco

DOB: 28/02/1968. National Identification no: V-6250588 Position: Deputy Director of the Directorate-General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Direccion General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) and Division General of the Venezuelan Bolivarian National Army Listed on: 27/09/2019 Last Updated: 27/09/2019 Group ID: 13792

3. CALDERON, Carlos

Position: Senior office holder (referred to as Commissioner, Director and Director General) in the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN). Listed on: 27/09/2019 Last Updated: 27/09/2019 Group ID: 13793

4. MARRERO, Alexis Enrique Escalona

DOB: 12/10/1962. Position: Chief in Charge of the National Office Against Organized Crime and Terrorist Financing (ONDOFT) Other Information: National Commander of the National Anti-Extortion and Kidnapping Command (Comando Nacional Antiextorsion y Secuestro (CONAS) between 2014 and 2017. Listed on: 27/09/2019 Last Updated: 27/09/2019 Group ID: 13794.

5. QUINTERO, Rafael Antonio Franco

DOB: 14/10/1973. National Identification no: V-11311672 Position: Agent in the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) Other Information: Head of Investigations at the Directorate-General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Direccion General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) between at least 2017 and December 2018 Listed on: 27/09/2019 Last Updated: 27/09/2019 Group ID: 13795.

6. ARTEAGA, Alexander Enrique Granko

DOB: 25/03/1981. National Identification no: V-14970215 Position: Head (Director) of the Special Affairs Division (DAE) of the Directorate-General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Direccion General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) Listed on: 27/09/2019 Last Updated: 27/09/2019 Group ID: 13796.

7. MIJARES, Hannover Esteban Guerrero

DOB: 14/01/1971. Other Information: Head of Investigations at the Directorate- General of Military Counter-Intelligence (Direccion General de Contrainteligencia Militar (DGCIM)) from at least April 2019 to August 2019. As Head of Investigations he supervised the DGCIM facility in Boleita. Listed on: 27/09/2019 Last Updated: 27/09/2019 Group ID: 13797.

to their Venezuela sanctions program.

And the EU issued a notice:

and the High Representative issued a statement:

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on Venezuela

The people of Venezuela continue to face a dramatic situation. The regional impact of the crisis is unprecedented, with severe risks for regional stability. On the political front, the dismantlement of institutional checks and balances has eroded democracy and the rule of law, while repression, including against members of the National Assembly, and serious human rights violations take place with impunity. This grave situation, as reported by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN HCHR), cannot be ignored. 

In this context, and as stated in its Declaration of 16 July, the EU has decided to apply additional targeted measures against seven members of the security and intelligence forces involved in torture and other serious human rights violations. The EU reaffirms its backing for the UN HCHR in her efforts to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Venezuelans. In this respect it supports the steps taken towards ensuring a permanent presence of OHCHR in Venezuela and the free access of UN Special procedures to the country. The EU underlines the need to fully implement the totality of the recommendations from the UN HCHR report.

The EU expresses its concern at the temporary suspension of the Oslo facilitated talks and calls on the parties to return to an inclusive, credible and serious negotiation on the basis of the previously agreed agenda. The EU reiterates its willingness to contribute to promote the enabling conditions for such a process, through the International Contact Group, including by working with other relevant actors in the international community to provide a supporting framework.

A negotiated transition leading to transparent and internationally monitored presidential elections, the reinstitution of the public powers and a package of guarantees enabling political coexistence are essential elements to overcome the crisis.

The EU confirms its readiness to work on further targeted measures to foster such a negotiated transition. At the same time it recalls that its targeted restrictive measures do not affect the population and can be reversed in light of progress made towards the restoration of democracy, rule of law and human rights in Venezuela.

In the meantime, addressing the humanitarian and social emergency in Venezuela is urgent and long overdue. The EU considers vital the increase and acceleration of a coordinated assistance, both inside and outside the country. In this context, the EU will hold an International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Brussels end of October. This initiative will be co-hosted with UNHCR and IOM, in close articulation with the Quito process.

Links:

EU Notice

EU Declaration

OFSI Notice

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1586

On Tuesday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), part of the US Treasury Department, added the following entities:

BLUELANE OVERSEAS SA, Panama City, Panama; Identification Number IMO 6109861 [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

CAROIL TRANSPORT MARINE LTD (a.k.a. CAROIL TRANSPORT MARINE LIMITED), Arch Makariou III Avenue 284, Fortuna Court, Block B, 2nd Floor, Limassol, Cyprus; Identification Number IMO 1869514; Registration Number HE 47364 (Cyprus) [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

TOVASE DEVELOPMENT CORP, Panama City, Panama; Identification Number IMO 5447549; Company Number 568507 (Panama) [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

TROCANA WORLD INC., Panama City, Panama; Identification Number IMO 5411381; Company Number 582152 (Panama) [VENEZUELA-EO13850].

and cargo vessels:

CARLOTA C Chemical/Products Tanker Panama flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9502453 (vessel) [VENEZUELA-EO13850] (Linked To: CAROIL TRANSPORT MARINE LTD). 

 

GIRALT Crude Oil Tanker Panama flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9259692 (vessel) [VENEZUELA-EO13850] (Linked To: BLUELANE OVERSEAS SA). 

 

PETION Products Tanker Panama flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9295098 (vessel) [VENEZUELA-EO13850] (Linked To: CAROIL TRANSPORT MARINE LTD; Linked To: TROCANA WORLD INC.). 

 

SANDINO Chemical/Products Tanker Panama flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9441178 (vessel) [VENEZUELA-EO13850] (Linked To: CAROIL TRANSPORT MARINE LTD; Linked To: TOVASE DEVELOPMENT CORP).

to its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List under its Venezuela sanctions program.

Additionally, the following existing designations were removed:

N133JA; Aircraft Model Mystere Falcon 50EX; Aircraft Manufacturer’s Serial Number (MSN) 268; Aircraft Tail Number N133JA (aircraft) [VENEZUELA-EO13850] (Linked To: PERDOMO ROSALES, Gustavo Adolfo). 

 

LIMA SHIPPING CORPORATION (a.k.a. LIMA SHIPPING CORP), 80 Broad Street, Monrovia, Liberia; Identification Number IMO 4063640 [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

LIMA SHIPPING CORP (a.k.a. LIMA SHIPPING CORPORATION), 80 Broad Street, Monrovia, Liberia; Identification Number IMO 4063640 [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

NEW HELLAS Crude Oil Tanker Greece flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9221891 (vessel) [VENEZUELA-EO13850] (Linked To: LIMA SHIPPING CORPORATION). 

 

SERENITY MARITIME LIMITED (a.k.a. SERENITY MARITIME LTD.; a.k.a. SERENITY MARITIME LTD-LIB), Broad Street 80, Monrovia 1000, Liberia [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

SERENITY MARITIME LTD. (a.k.a. SERENITY MARITIME LIMITED; a.k.a. SERENITY MARITIME LTD-LIB), Broad Street 80, Monrovia 1000, Liberia [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

SERENITY MARITIME LTD-LIB (a.k.a. SERENITY MARITIME LIMITED; a.k.a. SERENITY MARITIME LTD.), Broad Street 80, Monrovia 1000, Liberia [VENEZUELA-EO13850]. 

 

LEON DIAS Chemical/Oil Tanker Panama flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9396385 (vessel) [VENEZUELA-EO13850] (Linked To: SERENITY MARITIME LIMITED).

And the Treasury:

PRESS RELEASES

Treasury Further Targets Entities and Vessels Moving Venezuelan Oil to Cuba

Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated four entities that operate in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13850.  Additionally, OFAC identified four vessels that transport oil and other petroleum products from Venezuela to Cuba as blocked property owned or controlled by the four designated entities. 

“The United States continues to take strong action against the former illegitimate Maduro regime and the malign foreign actors who support it. Maduro’s Cuban benefactors provide a lifeline to the regime and enable its repressive security and intelligence apparatus,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Venezuela’s oil belongs to the Venezuelan people, and should not be used as a bargaining tool to prop up dictators and prolong the usurpation of Venezuelan democracy.” 

Since the January 28, 2019 designation of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), Cubametales, the Cuban state-run oil import and export company, and other Cuba-based entities have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela.  On July 3, 2019, OFAC designated Cubametales for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended. 

Today’s action further targets Venezuela’s oil sector and the mechanisms used to transport oil to Maduro’s Cuban benefactors, who continue to provide a lifeline to the illegitimate former regime:

 

  • Caroil Transport Marine Ltd. is based in Cyprus, and operates three vessels: Carlota C, Sandino, and Petion.
    • Carlota C (IMO 9502453) is a chemical/products tanker that recently delivered Venezuelan petroleum products, including gasoline, to Cuba.  In August 2019, PdVSA, Cubametales, and Cuban officials arranged to ship gasoline from El Palito, Venezuela to Cuba.  Later in August, Carlota C traveled from Venezuela to the Havana Port Petroleum Refinery in Cuba.
    • Sandino (IMO 9441178) is a chemical/products tanker that recently delivered Venezuelan oil products to Cuba.
    • Petion (IMO 9295098) is a products tanker that loaded crude oil as part of a shipment involving Cubametales and PDVSA in late May 2019.
  • Trocana World Inc. is based in Panama and is the registered owner of Petion.
  • Tovase Development Corp is based in Panama and is the registered owner of Sandino.
  • Bluelane Overseas SA is based in Panama and is the registered owner of Giralt.
    • Giralt (IMO 9259692) is a crude oil tanker that recently delivered Venezuelan oil to Cuba.

 As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these entities, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated entities, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

DELISTINGS

U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior.  The United States has made clear that the removal of sanctions is available for persons designated under E.O. 13692 or E.O. 13850, both as amended, who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the illegitimate former Maduro regime, and combat corruption in Venezuela

In addition to today’s designations and in recognition of a demonstrated change in behavior, OFAC is delisting Serenity Maritime Limited, Lima Shipping Corporation, the vessels Leon Dias and New Hellas, and an aircraft (N133JA).

OFAC designated Serenity Maritime Limited on May 10, 2019, for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended.  Additionally, one vessel, the Leon Dias, was identified as blocked property in the interest of Serenity Maritime Limited.  Following the company’s designation, Serenity adopted sanctions compliance measures that included the discontinuation of business activities with Cubametales, which chartered the Leon Dias to transport Venezuelan oil to Cuba. 

Lima Shipping Corporation was designated by OFAC on April 12, 2019, for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended.  Additionally, one vessel, the New Hellas, was identified as blocked property in the interest of Lima Shipping Corporation.  Lima Shipping Corporation has subsequently terminated its charter with Cubametales and refused new oil shipments from Venezuela to Cuba.

Finally, OFAC is delisting aircraft N133JA, which was blocked on January 8, 2019, because it was identified as property in which Gustavo Adolfo Perdomo Rosales (Perdomo) had an interest.  OFAC designated Perdomo pursuant to E.O. 13850 for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, any transaction or series of transactions involving deceptive practices or corruption and the Government of Venezuela or projects or programs administered by the Government of Venezuela, or for being an immediate adult family member of such a person.  OFAC has determined that aircraft N133JA is no longer associated with Perdomo.

Treasury recognizes the actions that Serenity Maritime Limited and Lima Shipping Corporation took to ensure that these entities’ respective vessels no longer support the economic interests of the illegitimate former Maduro regime.  As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property that had been blocked as a result of the designation of Serenity Maritime Limited and Lima Shipping Corporation are unblocked, and all otherwise lawful transactions involving U.S. persons and these two entities are no longer prohibited.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information about the methods that Venezuelan senior political figures, their associates, and front persons use to move and hide corrupt proceeds, including how they try to exploit the U.S. financial system and real estate market, please refer to Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) advisories FIN-2019-A002, “Updated Advisory on Widespread Public Corruption in Venezuela”; FIN-2017-A006, “Advisory on Widespread Public Corruption in Venezuela”; FIN-2017-A003, “Advisory to Financial Institutions and Real Estate Firms and Professionals”; and FIN-2018-A003, “Advisory on Human Rights Abuses Enabled by Corrupt Senior Foreign Political Figures and their Financial Facilitators.”

and State:

On September 24, the United States designated four companies that operate in Venezuela’s oil sector as sanctioned, and identified as blocked property four vessels associated with this activity.

This action further targets Venezuela’s oil sector and the mechanisms used to transport oil to Nicolás Maduro’s Cuban benefactors, who continue to prop up the former regime.  These sanctions are a follow-on to the designations and identifications announced on April 5 and 12 that targeted entities and vessels known to be involved in the transportation of crude oil from Venezuela to Cuba.

With this action, the sanctioned entities will be denied access to the U.S. financial system.  In addition, a freeze will be placed on these entities’ U.S. assets.

The United States will continue to work with our democratic partners in the region and around the world to support Interim President Guaidó, the democratically elected National Assembly, and the people of Venezuela as they seek to restore constitutional order and democracy to their country.

For more information on today’s action, please refer to the U.S. Department of the Treasury: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm784.

Departments issued press releases on the new designations. Note that the Treasury Department press release explains why the delistings occurred.

Links:

OFAC Notice

Press Releases – Treasury, State

The same day the Alex Saab network is sanctioned by OFAC – coincidence?

Here is the State Department press release:

The suspension of the Norway-sponsored talks between Venezuela’s interim government and the former Maduro regime reflects the refusal of the regime to negotiate in good faith.  Once again, the regime sees negotiations as a delaying tactic and has subverted good-faith efforts to find a peaceful political solution.

The former Maduro regime has sabotaged the negotiations hosted by Norway, refusing to engage seriously on a return to democracy in Venezuela.  It has now announced a plan designed to sabotage the National Assembly, the last democratic institution left in Venezuela.  Maduro and his cronies lured a small fringe group of politicians to engage in “so called talks” and misrepresented them as speaking for the democratic opposition.  The United States continues to support Juan Guaido, the President of the National Assembly and the legitimate Interim President of Venezuela.  Any serious negotiations must be between the former regime and Interim President Guaido.  As we have said repeatedly, U.S. sanctions will not be lifted until Maduro is gone.

While Oslo negotiations were ongoing, the former regime illegally revoked the parliamentary immunities of over two dozen democratically elected members of the National Assembly.  The former regime has also continued to torture and murder opponents, including naval officer Acosta Arevalo.

The United States commends the interim government for engaging in a good-faith effort on behalf of the Venezuelan people and consistently showing up to the table with serious proposals despite the aggressive attacks against them.  Their commitment to the people of Venezuela is clear.  The United States continues to support interim President Juan Guaido, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan people as they seek to restore democracy to their country.

To this end, the United States and our partners have invoked the TIAR/Rio Treaty, which facilitates further collective action to confront the threat posed by the former regime of Nicolas Maduro to the Venezuelan people and to the region.  We look forward to coming together with regional partners to discuss the multilateral economic and political options we can employ to the threat to the security of the region that Maduro represents.

Link:

State Department Press Release