U.S. blacklists Venezuelan state banks following arrest Of Guaido aideReuters #Sanctions_OnJune 12, 2019
WASHINGTON/CARACAS (Reuters) – The United States imposed sanctions on Friday on Venezuela’s development bank, Bandes, a day after the Trump administration warned there would be consequences for the arrest by Venezuelan authorities of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s top aide.
REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
The U.S. Treasury said it was slapping the sanctions on Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, including its subsidiaries in Uruguay and Bolivia.
It also imposed sanctions on state-owned Venezuelan commercial banks, including Banco de Venezuela and Banco Bicentenario.
The White House said in a statement it was committed to preventing Maduro’s government from stealing Venezuela’s resources and from arresting those pushing for political change.
“The United States will not tolerate the arrest of peaceful democratic actors, including members of the democratically-elected Venezuelan National Assembly and those Venezuelans working with interim President Juan Guaido,” the White House said in a statement.
The U.S. Treasury said Maduro tried to move $1 billion out of Venezuela through Banco Bandes Uruguay in early 2019 as he came under increasing pressure from the United States and other countries in the region to step down.
But the sanctions on Bandes could test Beijing’s ties with Caracas, since it would impede Venezuela from restructuring its $20 billion debt with China, opposition lawmaker Angel Alvarado said on Friday.
They follow a raft of other sanctions imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump in recent months against Maduro, top government officials, and state oil firm PDVSA.
Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton tweeted earlier on Friday: “BANDES bank is to Venezuela’s financial sector what PDVSA is to its oil sector.