Pence announces sanctions on Venezuela oil vessels, Cuba shippers

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"Pence has said the five citizens and a single authorized permanent USA resident, all with roots in Texas and Louisiana, have been" illegally arrested".

The United States has already slapped Venezuela's state oil producer PDVSA with punitive measures, blocking the company's assets worth $7 billion remaining under the U.S. jurisdiction.

Further, Pence noted in his speech that nine out of ten people live in poverty in Venezuela.

He said the USA government will impose sanctions on 34 vessels owned or operated by a Venezuelan state-run oil company.

Pence said the U.S. "will continue to exert all diplomatic and economic pressure to bring about a peaceful transition to democracy".


The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on 34 vessels owned or operated by Venezuelan state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A, or PDVSA, and also on two companies and a vessel that delivered oil to Cuba in February and March.

Pence also hinted that President Donald Trump's administration will take further action against Cuba as it considers allowing exiles to sue over property seized by the communist authorities.

"By severely impacting the shipment of that oil and the ability to get that oil from Venezuela to Cuba, there is going to be a recalibration of that relationship". A Treasury Department announcement said the companies and vessels are being used to ship fuel to Cuba or in other aspects of the oil industry and help support the Maduro government.

As a result of the sanctions, all property of those entities that are in the United States would be blocked. Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as president.

Venezuela has seen a political divide between supporters of Guaido and embattled President Maduro, who was elected to power following elections. "Nicolás Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, and Nicolás Maduro must go", Pence said, according to a statement issued by the White House.

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