U.S. imposes sanctions on Mexican companies, individuals over Venezuelan link

U.S. Mexico flags
The U.S. flag (L), and the Mexico’s flag are pictured on the international border bridge Paso del Norte in between El Paso US and Ciudad Juarez in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Mexican companies and individuals and two oil tankers under a program meant to pressure the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the Treasury Department said.

It was reported last month that the FBI was probing several Mexican and European companies allegedly involved in trading Venezuelan oil, gathering information for a Treasury Department inquiry into possible sanctions busting, citing four people familiar with the matter.

The United States in January 2019 recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the OPEC nation’s legitimate interim president and has ratcheted up sanctions and diplomatic pressure following Maduro’s 2018 re-election, which the United States and other Western nations say was rigged.

Maduro remains in power backed by Venezuela’s military as well as Russia, China and Cuba, something that has been a source of frustration for President Donald Trump, U.S. officials have said privately.

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