U.S. Escalates Sanctions Against PdVSA, Venezuela

January 29, 2019

On January 28, 2019, the United States imposed blocking sanctions on Petróleos de Venezuela SA (“PdVSA”), the Venezuelan state-owned oil company. The measures follow President Trump’s recent decision to recognize Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader, as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state, and are an attempt to force new elections by starving President Nicolás Maduro and his regime of cash. The sanctions block all of PdVSA’s assets in, and prevent PdVSA from selling oil to, the United States, although several authorizations were also issued to mitigate the immediate impact on U.S. companies and investors.

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