Venezuela-Related Sanctions

Venezuela-Related Sanctions, Department of the Treasury

Executive Orders

Executive Order 13692 declares a national emergency with respect to the situation in Venezuela. The targeted sanctions in this Executive Order (E.O.) implement relevant provisions of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 signed into law on December 18, 2014, and also provide sanctions authority that goes beyond the requirements of the legislation. The E.O. provides authority to target persons involved in or responsible for the erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as significant public corruption by senior government officials in the country. E.O. 13692 does not target the people or economy of Venezuela.

Executive Order 13808, among other things, prohibits transactions by a United States person or within the United States related to: certain new debt of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA); certain new debt or new equity of the Government of Venezuela; existing bonds issued by the Government of Venezuela prior to August 25, 2017; and dividend payments or other distributions of profits to the Government of Venezuela from any entity owned or controlled by the Government of Venezuela. In addition, E.O. 13808 prohibits the purchase by a U.S. person or within the United States of most securities from the Government of Venezuela.

Executive Order 13827 prohibits all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela on or after January 9, 2018 wherein U.S. jurisdiction is implicated. The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) simultaneously issued frequently asked questions (#559-563) clarifying that compliance obligations are the same, regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in digital currency or a traditional fiat currency. OFAC also clarified that U.S. persons and persons otherwise subject to OFAC jurisdiction that facilitate or engage in online commerce or process transactions using digital currency are responsible for ensuring that they do not engage in unauthorized transactions prohibited by U.S. sanctions.

Executive Order 13835, among other things, prohibits transactions by a United States person or within the United States related to: the purchase of any debt owed to the Government of Venezuela (including PDVSA), such as but not limited to accounts receivable; any debt owed to the Government of Venezuela that is pledged as collateral after May 21, 2018; and the sale, transfer, assignment, or pledging as collateral by the Government of Venezuela of any equity interest in any entity in which it has a 50 percent or greater ownership interest. E.O. 13835 closes another avenue for corruption by denying the Venezuelan regime the ability to earn money by selling off public assets at “fire sale” prices at the expense of the Venezuelan people.

Legislation

Frequently Asked Questions

Remarks and Releases

12/18/14  Statement by the White House Press Secretary: Bills Signed into Law
03/09/15  Statement by the White House Press Secretary on Venezuela
03/09/15  White House Fact Sheet: Venezuela Executive Order
05/18/17  Treasury Sanctions Eight Members of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice
07/17/17  Statement from President Donald J. Trump
07/26/17  Treasury Sanctions 13 Current and Former Senior Officials of the Government of Venezuela
07/31/17  Treasury Sanctions the President of Venezuela
08/09/17  Treasury Sanctions Eight Individuals Involved in Venezuela's Illegitimate Constituent Assembly
11/09/17  Treasury Sanctions Ten Venezuelan Government Officials
01/05/18  Treasury Sanctions Four Venezuelan Government Officials Associated with Corruption and Oppression
03/19/18  Treasury Sanctions Four Current or Former Venezuelan Officials Associated with Economic Mismanagement and Corruption
05/18/18  Treasury Targets Influential Former Venezuelan Official and His Corruption Network