September 24, 2019 / 2:29 PM / a month ago

U.S. sanctions target Venezuelan oil moving to Cuba

WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury targeted four groups and four vessels on Tuesday for moving Venezuelan oil to Cuba in violation of Washington’s sanctions, it said in a statement.

Since the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, 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.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States was continuing to take action against Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, whom Washington considers an illegitimate ruler.

“Maduro’s Cuban benefactors provide a lifeline to the regime and enable its repressive security and intelligence apparatus,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

“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.”

The sanctioned entities include Caroil Transport Marine Ltd of Cypress and three Panama-based groups: Trocana World Inc, Tovase Development Corp and Bluelane Overseas SA. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by David Gregorio)

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