WASHINGTON DC – Jul 4, 2019 – US National Security Adviser John Bolton has vowed to sever ties between Havana and Caracas through sanctions against oil and other trading companies.
These statements were made after an Italian oil company succumbed to pressure.
The US State Department withdrew the sanctions it had previously imposed on Italy-based oil company PB Tankers, praising it for taking steps to make sure its ships are no longer complicit in supporting the “old Maduro regime.”
The company was sanctioned in April along with three others accused by the United States of helping Maduro’s government transport oil from Venezuela to Cuba, among other destinations. The inclusion of the company on the list fell as a bomb for PB Tankers, who said it was “shocked and worried” about what had happened while promising to meet the demands.
Other victims of sanctions
While the Italian company yielded to US intimidation, Washington also imposed sanctions on Cubametales, a Cuban state-owned company. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the State Department called the Cuban company the main facilitator of Venezuelan oil imports for its attempt to break the US economic blockade.
Bolton appears to be proud to have intimidated companies into denying services to Venezuela by tweeting that the US “would continue to take actions” to end what it called a “oil for repression” scheme.
The United States will continue to take actions to end this “oil for repression” scheme that provides a lifeline to the illegitimate Maduro regime. Cuba must be held accountable for the destabilizing role it continues to play in Venezuela. https://t.co/76PEQR4vbP
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) July 4, 2019
In another tweet devoid of reality, Bolton said: “We will continue to sever the ties between Cuba and Venezuela that contribute to repression.”
Today the Treasury Department sanctioned Cubametales, a Cuban state-run oil import & export company, for its continued import of oil from Venezuela. We will continue to sever the ties between Cuba and Venezuela that contribute to repression. https://t.co/5IPLFC0IaT
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) July 3, 2019
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez wrote on his Twitter page:
“US has no right to impose unilateral measures on entities of Cuba or any other country trading with #Venezuela. It is a violation of International Law, the rules that govern trade and an assault on the relations with sovereign States.”
#US has no right to impose unilateral measures on entities of Cuba or any other country trading with #Venezuela. It is a violation of International Law, the rules that govern trade and an assault on the relations with sovereign States.
— Bruno Rodríguez P (@BrunoRguezP) July 4, 2019
The Trump administration has promised to end cooperation between Venezuela and Cuba, which, along with Russia, China, Turkey and several other Latin American nations, have taken Maduro’s side in the current political turmoil.
Washington accused Havana of playing a “destabilizing” role in Latin America and Venezuela, subjecting Cuba to several rounds of sanctions for the country’s refusal to abandon its main ally.
Bolton said the Venezuelan military would defect and abandon Maduro and join the self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó if Cubans let them do it.
Bolton has never hidden true US intentions in Venezuela, openly encouraging regime change, claiming that Guaidó enjoys “overwhelming public support” after the failed coup attempt, considering that the impasse between Maduro’s government and the opposition is still ongoing.