The U.S. government imposed sanctions on the Cuban oil import-export state enterprise Cubametales, placing the company on its blacklist, for maintaining ties with Venezuela.
Justifying the aggressive move, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated: “Sanctions on Cubametales will disrupt Maduro’s attempts to use Venezuela’s oil as a bargaining tool to help his supporters purchase protection from Cuba and other malign foreign actors.”
Entities on the list face freezing of all goods and assets which persons or companies may hold, directly or indirectly under U.S. jurisdiction, as well the prohibition of any legal transactions that involve U.S. citizens or entities.
Through November of 2018, a total of 205 Cuban entities had been listed, including hotels in important tourist destinations like Varadero, Havana, and the Villa Clara keys; as well as stores and shopping centers.
In March of 2019, five more enterprises were added to the list, and in April, the U.S. penalized 34 ships belonging to Venezuela’s oil company, PDVSA, used to transport oil from that country to Cuba.