[News] Timeline of Half a Decade of US Economic War Against Venezuela
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 22 10:33:46 EDT 2019
Timeline of Half a Decade of US Economic War Against Venezuela
May 22, 2019
As of January 23, 2019, the aggressiveness of the U.S. blockade against
Venezuela increased remarkably following the unconstitutional
actions taken by U.S.-backed opposition congressman Juan Guaido, who
self-declared as "president in charge" in a new attempt to destabilize
the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
However, the latest sanctions by Washington against Venezuela come as a
culmination of almost half a decade of U.S. aggression by multiple
successive administrations seeking to put an end to decades of leftist
rule in the oil-rich South American country.
While the recent U.S. sanctions are blocking the Venezuelan people from
using over US$11 billion from Citgo Petroleum, a corporation owned by
Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), total damages are estimated at US$130
billion for the period between 2015 to 2018, as the Venezuelan
Ambassador to Russia, Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa, said Tuesday.
While the Venezuelan government, human rights organizations and experts,
as well as economists, warn that such sanctions are directly affecting
the Venezuelan people, U.S. officials seem to have little care to their
In October 2018, during an exclusive interview with VOA media, former
U.S. ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield said the "best solution"
would be to "accelerate" the collapse of the Bolivarian Revolution even
if that implied a greater burden of human suffering.
teleSUR put together a timeline of economic sanctions and hurdles placed
on the Venezuelan government by both the United States government
and the U.S. banking system, revealling a strategic escalation of
aggression by the U.S. government over the past few years.
The U.S. Congress approves Law 113-278: "Public Law for the Defense of
Human Rights and Civil Society in Venezuela", which establishes the road
map for unilateral coercive measures by the U.S. and the countries that
operate within its sphere of influence.
This law expressly established "sanctions" against the Central Bank of
Venezuela and Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), the main state company
that has a monopoly on the exploitation of all the Nation's hydrocarbons
and generates more than 90 percent of the revenues in the country.
With this legal instrument, the United States opened the doors for
unilateral measures to block and freeze assets, funds, property and
Venezuelan properties; suspension of entry, revocation of the visa or
other documentation to officials and officials who hold public office,
military officers and diplomatic representatives.
All these actions were aimed at creating the conditions of an economic,
financial and commercial embargo on Venezuela, as well as to hinder the
participation of state representatives in international relations.
Venezuela has the Means to Defeat the US Blockade
U.S. President Barack Obama signs a decree which designates Venezuela as
an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the U.S. National Security." As
a result of this decision, Citibank refused to receive Venezuelan
funds seeking to purchase 300,000 insulin doses required for the
treatment of Venezuelan diabetic patients.
Due to pressures from the U.S. Treasury Department, the German bank
Commerzbank unilaterally closed the accounts of Venezuelan public
institution and companies.
Citibank unilaterally ceased the service of correspondent accounts in
foreign currency of Venezuelan institutions in the US, including those
of the Venezuela's Central Bank (BCV).
Risk rating agencies assigned Venezuela the world's highest financial
risk (2,640 points), well above countries at war, despite having
fulfilled its external debt commitments. Venezuela had paid US$63.4
billion in debt service since 2013; however, the financial risk
increased 202 percent during the same period, rising from an average of
768 in 2012 to 2,323 in 2016.
Portugal's Novo Banco reported the impossibility of conducting
dollar-denominated operations with Venezuelan banks, due to pressures
exerted by its correspondent banks.
/*Chavistas March in Caracas to Mark Nicolas Maduro’s Re-election*/
In order to partially refinance its financial obligations and reschedule
its debt amortizations, the Venezuelan government makes an offer to
exchange US$ 7.1 billion in PDVSA bonds. The U.S.-based risk rating
agencies threatened investors with declaring default if they agree to
the Venezuelan proposal.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. issued a false default alert about an alleged
US$404 million PDVSA debt default.
Venezuela did not receive a shipment of new banknotes from the Crane
Currency company, which is a U.S. Treasury Department's supplier and was
contracted by the Venezuelan state to print currency cone pieces.
The Delaware Trust company, an agent of payments of PDVSA bonds,
announced that its U.S. correspondent, the PNC Financial Services Group,
refused to receive funds from the Venezuelan oil company.
The U.S. Executive Order 13808 prohibited all transactions aimed at
financing Venezuela, banned direct or indirect purchases of Venezuelan
government securities, which included bonds, loans, credit extensions,
loan guarantees, credit letters, drafts, bankers acceptance, invoices or
discount notes, and commercial papers.
With this order, the U.S. blockade against the Bolivarian government
became official and granted legal status to the financial boycott,
making private banks an openly active partner of the U.S. isolation policy.
The Swiss multinational investment bank Credit Suisse prohibited its
clients from carrying out financial transactions with Venezuela.
The Bank of China at Panama informed that it would not carry out any
operation in favor of Venezuela due to both instructions from the U.S.
Treasury Department and pressures coming from the Panamanian government.
Similarly, Russian banks refused to make transactions towards Venezuelan
banks due to restrictions imposed by correspondent banks based in the
U.S. and Europe.
Claiming administrative reasons, the BDC Shandong's correspondent
paralyzed a US$200 million transaction towards Venezuela even though the
People's Republic of China had already rotated the corresponding funds.
Venezuela could not deposit money in the Swiss UBS Investment Bank to
pay for vaccines and medicines purchased through the Pan American Health
Organization (PHO). This caused a delay of four months in the
acquisition of vaccines and altered the Venezuelan vaccination schedules.
Reverend Jackson understands that starving Venezuela into submission
with a blockade is inmmoral and inhumane. Trump’s international
policy is dangerous and does not make rational sense.
Stop Trump’s war! pic.twitter.com/kzOFsz8OhD <https://t.co/kzOFsz8OhD>
— Samuel Moncada (@SMoncada_VEN) May 16, 2019
The Deutsche Ban, the main correspondent of the Central Bank of
Venezuela (BCV) main correspondent, definitively closed all Venezuelan
International banks refused 23 Venezuelan operations, worth US$39
million, aimed at purchasing food, basic supplies and medicines.
The Standard and Poor's rating agency declared Venezuela to be in
"selective default," a condition which was fabricated by not
registering a payment process on time.
Wilmington Trust, a company managing bonds, accused the Venezuelan
company Corpoelec of not paying US$27 million in debt interests. This
happened in a moment when Venezuela's means of payment were going
through a full blockade within the U.S. financial system.
U.S. banks arbitrarily blocked 19 bank accounts through which Venezuela
had been making payments to land transport cabotage services. This
caused fuel shortages in several states and also hindered transactions
related to 471,000 vehicle tires which had already been paid.
European banks delayed a US$29.7 million transaction through which the
Venezuelan Committees for Local Supply and Production (CLAP)'s food
program was paying its suppliers.
J.P. Morgan Chase delayed accepting resources for US$28.1 million which
were destined to pay services from vessels transporting food supplies to
About US$ 1.2 billion in Venezuelan sovereign bonds and PDVSA bonds
could not be repaid to their creditors due to the Trump administration's
The U.S. Treasury Department extended financial penalties established in
the August 2017 Executive Order 13808. The renegotiation or
restructuring of the Venezuelan debt, issued by the government and its
public enterprises before August 25, 2017, was impeded.
President Trump renewed executive orders 13692 and 13808 for an
additional year. He also prohibited debt restructuring in favor of Citgo
Petroleum and prevented the repatriation of this company's dividends.
The U.S. issued executive order 13827 which prohibits any citizen or
institution from making financial transactions with 'Petro', a
Venezuela's state-owned cryptocurrency.
During the Summit of the Americas, Peru's Foreign Minister announced
that Lima Group has decided to create a follow-up group to study further
political and economic measures against Venezuela.
In the same event, Colombia and the U.S. agreed to accelerate mechanisms
to chase Venezuela's financial transactions and hinder basic products
In retaliation for the victory of Nicolas Maduro in the
presidential elections on May 20, 2018, to assume a 2019-2025 term, in
which the Bolivarian leader received 67 percent of 9 million votes, the
U.S. issued executive order 13835 which prohibits purchasing debt and
accounts payable by Venezuelan state-owned companies. In addition, the
Trump administration sanctioned 20 Venezuelan companies for alleged ties
to drug trafficking.
Thus the U.S. government banned all kinds of operations related to the
sale, transfer, assignment, or granting as guarantee performed by any
U.S.-based company in which the Venezuelan government had a share of 50
percent of more.
Due to this, over 15,000 hemodialysis patients received no supplies, for
US$9 million aimed at purchasing dialysis supplies were blocked. The
Colombian government blocked a 400,000 kilos supplies shipment for the
Venezuelan food subsidy program.
The Brazilian government did not pay US$40 million to the Venezuela's
Electricity Corporation for its energy supply to the Roraima state.
Brazil's Foreign Minister, Aloysio Nunes, had declared that his
country's debt could not be canceled due to "the economic and financial
blockade imposed by the U.S. and the European Union."
Through a new coercive measure, the Trump Administration prohibited U.S.
citizens from trading gold exported from Venezuela.
The Trump Administration approved new sanctions against PDVSA, which
included freezing US$7 billion in assets owned by its U.S. subsidiary
company, CITGO. This measure will bring about US$11 billion estimated
export-related losses in the coming years.
On Jan. 28, the State Department and the Department of the Treasury
ceded control of CITGO and Venezuelan bank accounts in its territory to
In Europe, as a result of an extraterritorial and illegal application of
coercive measures, the Bank of England announced the confiscation of
Venezuela's gold reserves valued at US$ 1.4 billion.
As a consequence of executive order 13850, the production and trading
operations of the Venezuelan Guyana Mining Corporation (Minerven) were
This executive order also compromised the operations of the Venezuelan
Economic and Social Development Bank (Bandes) and the institutions over
which it retains the 50 percent ownership, namely, Bandes Uruguay,
People's Bicentenary Bank, Universla Bank, Bank of Venezuela and Prodem
The operations of more than 30 PDVSA oil tankers were blocked.
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