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[UPDATED] U.S. Treasury should revise its Venezuela sanctions regime

What's the point of imposing a sanctions regime against wretched Nicolas Maduro and leaving the back door open? This is a pertinent question in our opinion. Venezuela / PDVSA can not issue any more debt as per Executive  Order  13808 of August 24, 2017. More recent sanctions on PDVSA establish that debt instruments linked to PDVSA can no longer be traded in the secondary market: "U.S. persons may continue to hold their interests in PdVSA debt and equity issued prior to August 25, 2017, but are subject to certain requirements on the sale of those interests in the secondary market.  General License 9A does not generally authorize U.S. persons to purchase or acquire new interests in PdVSA bonds or other debt or equity, and as a result, such purchases are prohibited absent authorization from OFAC." [bold added] Some sovereign debt bonds though, weren't included in that directive.

In addition, oil imports into U.S. Gulf refineries were hit on 28 January by OFAC. U.S. based / operated energy companies can not import anymore oil, while U.S. based / operated financial companies can no longer trade PDVSA bonds.

Such measure leave the back door open however, for sovereign debt can still be traded (?), while European, Indian, Turkish, Russian and Chinese energy companies are licking their chops at the prospects of American energy players vacating the scene. As of this writing, Petrochina, Reliance, and Trafigura are loading crude in Venezuelan ports.

Xi Jinping then has no reason to support a transition in Venezuela, when Treasury measures effectively mean that he'll get China's due quicker. Ditto Vlad Putin, and Ivan Glasenberg whose company was meant to be sued by David Boies through a farcical NY trust.

And what's with leaving sovereign debt out of sanctions? Gossip in Wall Street has it it's to do with favouring someone somewhere, so debt can be bought on the cheap.

We have seen that there's no shortage of totally unscrupulous and dodgy operators out to make a quick buck on Venezuela's distressed situation. Let's just hope this isn't another one.

UPDATE 09/02/2019: Fintech Advisory Inc.'s Mary Connell Lifton sent a reply to comment request put to David Martinez:

Fintech Advisory Inc's Mary Connell Lifton reply to comment request re Venezuela sovereign debt.



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