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U.S. Blacklists Four Tankers for Shipping Venezuelan Petroleum

refinery
The U.S. Treasury accuses the tanker Carlota C of traveling from Venezuela to the Havana Port Petroleum Refinery, seen here emitting smoke over Havana (Twitter)

By The Maritime Executive 2019-09-24 19:47:22

The U.S. Treasury announced Tuesday that it has blacklisted four companies and four ships for allegedly assisting Venezuela's petroleum export sector. The four firms allegedly provided transportation for the delivery of Venezuelan oil to Cuban buyers. 

“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.” 

Cuban state-owned oil trading firm Cubametales was placed on Treasury's sanctions list in July, and several maritime companies have since faced sanctions for doing business with Cubametales. 

The four firms named Tuesday include Caroil Transport Marine of Cyprus, Trocana World of Panama, Tovase Development Corp. of Panama and Bluelane Overseas of Panama. Caroil is the operator of the product tankers Carlota C, Sandino and Petion, which all allegedly delivered Venezuelan oil products or crude for Cubametales in 2019. Bluelane Overseas is the owner of the crude tanker Giralt, which allegedly delivered Venezuelan oil to Cuba. Trocana and Tovase own the Petion and Sandino, respectively. 

Treasury also delisted two shipping companies, Serenity Maritime Limited and Lima Shipping Corporation, along with the vessels Leon Dias and New Hellas. The agency's blacklist is meant to compel compliance, and Treasury offers a means to rehabilitation for cooperating entities. 

"The United States has made clear that the removal of sanctions is available for persons . . . 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," the agency said.