U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is criminalizing Russian companies for doing business with the Venezuelan state, saying they are violated U.S. imposed sanctions by making transactions with Venezuela’s sanctioned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
US Presses India to Stop Buying Oil from Venezuela
In a Monday press conference Pompeo said that the assets of Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a Russia-Venezuela states-owned financial organization would be frozen and U.S. citizens would be prohibited from doing business with the joint venture, according to Reuters.
The U.S. State Department said in a statement that Evrofinance was violating a Trump decree because it is a “foreign financial institution that materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of (PdVSA).”
Pompeo also accused the major Russian oil company, Rosneft, of defying U.S. sanctions by buying oil from PDVSA.
According to Sputnik News, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Pompeo's "accusations ... contradict international law."
Lavrov said Pompeo's "accusations that Russian oil company Rosneft bought Venezuelan oil in violation of Washington sanctions contradicts international law."
Talking to reporters the secretary of state included not only accused Russia but Cuba of trying to undermine democracy in Venezuela.
“This story is not complete without acknowledging the central role Cuba and Russia have played and continue to play in undermining the democratic dreams of the Venezuelan people and their welfare,” Pompeo said.
“Moscow, like Havana, continues to provide political cover to the Maduro regime,” added the U.S. official.
Meanwhile, Trump’s right hand in Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, says he is persuading and urging India to stop buying oil from Venezuela, from who it purchases approximately 366,000 oil barrels per day.
The current U.S. government began a soft coup against Maduro shortly after entering office by placing a slew of sanctions against the Venezuelan government and individuals.
As the list grew and intensified, the U.S. administration sent in Guaido in late January to take over the democratically elected Venezuelan government under Maduro. Most recently, last weekend the White House supported, if not masterminded, the cyber attack on the South American country that caused a nationwide blackout in an effort to create chaos and influence the overthrow of Maduro.
According to the Venezuelan government as of February of this year the country has lost US$38 billion in direct losses from U.S. financial sanctions alone.
Cuba: Electric Sabotage Against Venezuela is Terrorism
For his part, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton announced over Twitter that Venezuela’s National Assembly, still in operation despite being in contempt of the country’s Supreme Court, "decreed the suspension of oil exports to Cuba.” Bolton added, “insurance companies and flag bearers who facilitate these deliveries to Cuba are now on notice," signaling potential sanctions for those doing business with either country.
The Cuban government quickly responded to Bolton’s proclamation saying he has “long-time credentials … (as) a liar.”
Cuba’s foreign ministry office said in a statement: “The honest and informed people know the bilateral relationship between Cuba and Venezuela is based on mutual respect, true solidarity, fidelism and chavism—independent and sovereign.”