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U.S. Treasury: hit Greek shipowners to force Nicolas Maduro

There's been persistent chatter in the last few days about secret talks in Caracas between Donald Trump's envoys and Nicolas Maduro, aimed at easing Maduro from power. Former union boss Carlos Ortega even said it was a done deal. The sanctions regime imposed by U.S. Treasury on Venezuela / PDVSA is causing huge cash flow problem for Maduro and co.

Spain, Italy, Russia come to Maduro's rescue

Something quite extraordinary happened upon arrest of Alex Saab in Cape Verde: all the shells that had been lifting most of PDVSA crude (Libre Abordo, Proton SL, Schlager Business Group, Delta LLC) disappeared suddenly from shipping schedules. That tells the crucial role that Saab has in keeping PDVSA trading running. But Spain's Repsol and Italy's ENI, which in turn had nearly disappeared when Saab took over from Rosneft, are increasing their lifting activities.

UPDATED - New foundation Nynässtiftelsen under OFAC's Venezuela sanctions remit

UPDATE 30/05/2020 - In another chapter of the Nynas saga, we learn that Nynässtiftelsen, the new foundation PDVSA proposed to Treasury to complete reorganisation process, is controlled by Bo Askvik, Nynas' CEO. To recap: Nynas called in administrators due to Treasury's sanctions against PDVSA / Nicolas Maduro's regime. Sanctions were blocking Nynas to get out of practical bankruptcy.

UPDATED: PDVSA (illegal) divestment of 35% stake in Nynas

UPDATED 15/05/2020 - The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) removed Nynas from its list of sanctioned entities yesterday. Nynas published a release, in which it claimed that PDVSA (Nynas' majority shareholder) had "...reduced the percentage of Nynas shares it owns to 15 percent of all shares currently issued.

Venezuela / PDVSA: new global standard on sanctions avoidance

A question we get often, from analysts trying to make sense of what's happening with PDVSA's trading, finances, assets, etc., is: what's going on with crude deliveries? Maritime tracking apps / software are, in Venezuela's particular case, not fit for purpose, for these rely on vessels' AIS transponders to broadcast geolocations which are picked by terrestrial or satellite receivers. This information can then be seen on maps easily. But what happens when ships switch transponders off, which has become the new norm in most of the tankers involved with PDVSA?

Nynas proves Gazprombank / Rosneft Venezuela divestments fake news

Rafael Ramirez needs no introduction. While most people know him as former CEO of PDVSA, former Energy Minister, former Venezuela Ambassador to the UN, we know him as the architect of the largest corruption scheme the world has ever seen. Under his watch, PDVSA got close to $1.3 trillion USD worth of income, of which little is left.