U.S. Blacklists Greek Tanker for Sanctions-Busting
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has blacklisted two shipping firms and dozens of vessels, including one Greek tanker, in connection with U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.
The two companies are Ballito Bay Shipping and "ProPer In Management Inc." of Athens. Both share the same address in Piraeus.
The tanker was identified as the Despina Andrianna, IMO 9182667, a 70,000 dwt crude tanker belonging to Ballito Bay Shipping and operated by ProPer In Management. According to Treasury, the Andrianna is employed in carrying oil from Venezuela to Cuba in violation of American sanctions on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
“Cuba has been an underlying force fueling Venezuela’s descent into crisis. Treasury is taking action against vessels and entities transporting oil, providing a lifeline to keep the illegitimate Maduro regime afloat,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement. “Cuba continues to profit from, and prop up, the illegitimate Maduro regime through oil-for-repression schemes as they attempt to keep Maduro in power.”
According to the Treasury, Cuba is a major importer of crude oil from Venezuela, and in return it sends assistance to the Venezuelan government in the form of political advisors, intelligence and military officials and medical professionals. The Trump administration seeks to remove Maduro, who the White House views as illegitimate. The United States and a large number of its allies recognize the leader of the Venezuelan political opposition, Juan Guaido, as the nation's acting president.
Treasury's regulations generally prohibit all business transactions between American entities and sanctioned businesses or individuals - including bank transactions that occur within the United States.
The other vessels on Treasury's new list are linked to Petroleus de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), Venezuela's state-owned oil company. The list includes three Venezuelan drilling vessels and dozens of Venezuelan tugs.
Venezuela objected to the sanctions designations. “Venezuela considers unacceptable the cynical and criminal decision by the government of Donald Trump to try to apply measures that violate international rights,” said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreasa in a statement.