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  • A crude oil tanker is docked at Isla Oil Refinery PDVSA terminal in Willemstad on the island of Curacao, February 22, 2019.

    A crude oil tanker is docked at Isla Oil Refinery PDVSA terminal in Willemstad on the island of Curacao, February 22, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 May 2019 (10 hours 35 minutes ago)

The aim is to limit commercial and military flights in Venezuela, as Washington continues its efforts to undermine the democratically-elected government of Nicolás Maduro.

The United States is threatening foreign firms with sanctions if they do not stop trading jet fuel with Venezuela, according to a report from Reuters.

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The news agency cites two industry sources, who say U.S. State Department officials made calls to several large Swiss-and British-based trading houses. The aim is to limit commercial and military flights in Venezuela, as Washington continues its efforts to undermine the democratically-elected government of Nicolas Maduro.

"We continue to engage with companies in the energy sector on the possible risks they face by conducting business with (Venezuela's state oil company) PDVSA," a State Department official said when asked about the calls.

This latest attempt to hurt Venezuela’s economy follows similar calls made in March, during which U.S. officials told global trading houses and oil refiners they also would face sanctions unless they stopped working with Venezuela.

U.S. officials have been trying to end deliveries of gasoline and refined products necessary to make Venezuela's heavy crude ready for export. In March, at a conference in Houston, Texas, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even laid out a vision of working with energy firms to isolate Iran and Venezuela.

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