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New Venezuela Restrictions

Compliance Law Alert Edwin J. Broecker

On August 5, President Trump signed a new Executive Order (E.O.) "Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela". The E.O. is intended to further restrict all business with the Government of Nicolas Maduro, including all those persons affiliated with him. The E.O. provides that all property in the United States, or that comes into the United States or is in the possession or control of a United States person is blocked for transactions with the Government of Venezuela unless there is a general or specific license for such transaction. Although intended to be comprehensive, the E.O. only applies to the "Government of Venezuela" and not to all commercial activities. For purposes of the E.O., the "Government of Venezuela" is defined as "the state and Government of Venezuela, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Venezuela and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), any person owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the foregoing, and any person who has acted or purported to act directly or indirectly for or on behalf of, any of the foregoing, including as a member of the Maduro regime."

Simultaneously with the issuance of the E.O., the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated certain existing licenses and created additional general licenses regarding certain transactions, including telecommunications (License 24); Services related to the internet (License 25); overflights and air ambulances (License 33) and Services to the interim government of Juan Guaido (License 31).

Finally, the E.O. also restricts immigrant and non-immigrant migration of certain persons into the United States unless authorized by the Department of Justice and the Secretary of State. The restrictions apply to those persons who have "materially assisted, sponsored, or - provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person included on the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or (ii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported -to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order."

For more information on the Venezuela sanctions or other OFAC sanction programs please contact your Quarles & Brady attorney or: