The U.S. Treasury Department dialed back certain of its sanctions against Venezuela after the latter’s government and an opposition faction agreed to work together toward the prospect of a presidential election in 2024.
The Treasury’s decision, announced Wednesday, followed the agreement between Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro and the country’s Unitary Platform on an electoral roadmap. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson noted the United States’ actions are conditional and could be revoked at any time, should the Venezuela government not follow through on its commitments.
Sanctions changes announced by the Treasury included:
- A six-month general license authorizing transactions involving the oil and gas sector in Venezuela, including necessary financial transactions with certain blocked Venezuelan banks related to those sectors;
- A general license authorizing dealings with Venezuelan state-owned gold mining company Minerven; and
- License amendments removing the secondary trading ban on certain Venezuelan sovereign bonds and Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) debt and equity.
The agency noted its ban on trading in the primary Venezuelan bond market, along with all other restrictions imposed by the United States on the country, remain in place.
“[W]e will continue to hold bad actors accountable,” said Nelson. “We stand with the Venezuelan people and support Venezuelan democracy.”
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added in an FAQ that the oil and gas general license does not authorize the provision of goods or services to or investments in an entity located in Venezuela that is owned, controlled by, or a joint venture with an entity located in Russia, which remains under heavy U.S. sanctions amid its war with Ukraine.