Critical Insights

  1. The United States is Venezuela’s single largest trading partner, with more than 90 percent of Venezuela’s export earnings derived from the sale of oil. First sanctioned by the US in 2011 for doing business with Iran, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, was removed from the SDN list following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2016. The US added PDVSA again to its SDN list in January 2019 as a “vehicle for corruption” by Venezuelan officials and businesspersons.
  2. Nearly 50 Venezuela-related actors have been designated under the the Kingpin Act. Sanctions against Venezuelan officials under the Kingpin Act were first issued in 2008 and designated Venezuelan intelligence officials and a government minister for providing assistance to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
  3. Sanctioned Venezuelan actors own property and do business in the United States, Europe, Panama, and the Caribbean. Venezuelan officials and associates have been indicted in US federal courts for laundering over $1 billion through front companies and real estate holdings.

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