The U.S. announced sanctions targeting Russian oil company Rosneft’s trading unit, Rosneft Trading S.A., on February 18 and the Venezuelan state-run airline Conviasa on February 7.
Both actions aim to stop the flow of money to the Nicolás Maduro regime and compel Maduro to allow free and fair elections.
Rosneft Trading S.A. facilitates the “trading, processing, and transport of raw materials, in particular unrefined petroleum and petroleum products,” between Venezuela and other countries, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In this way, the Russian oil company props up the regime, which enables Maduro to further repress the Venezuelan people.
State-run airline Conviasa ferries “Maduro and his inner circle to confer with dictators, authoritarian regimes, and other criminals around the world,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.
Under these sanctions, U.S. citizens may not charter, contract, refuel or purchase anything from the airline.
“The United States remains firmly committed to the people of Venezuela and to the cause of freedom there,” said the U.S. State Department’s special representative to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. “We look forward to the day when Venezuela is free and all our sanctions can be lifted.”