Treasury sanctions Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm
The U.S. has announced targeted sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA. Rather than imposing a complete embargo on Venezuelan oil exports, however, the sanctions target only sales whose funds could be accessed by the Maduro regime. The sanctions, therefore, are working to transfer oil wealth away from the Maduro regime, where they provide 95% of state revenue, and to the opposition government newly recognized by the U.S., Canada, and most Latin American states. The White House has long considered sanctions against Venezuela, but had postponed them to avoid major impacts to U.S. oil prices. Oil prices declined around 3% after the announcement, and additional declines may follow. Politically, many European countries, including Germany, the UK, France, and Spain have announced that they will officially recognize the opposition government if Maduro does not announce new elections in 8 days. Russia and China continue to back the Maduro regime, with both countries at risk of losing many billions in investments propping up the Maduro regime in recent years.