OFAC Revokes License of Minerven, Venezuelan Gold Company Faces Sanctions
February 3, 2024 | by stockcoin.net
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has revoked the license of Minerven, the Venezuelan-owned gold company, for its involvement in international gold transactions. This action comes as part of the ongoing sanctions imposed on Venezuela, which were initially eased in October but will now be reinstated on February 13. In addition to the revocation of Minerven’s license, there are reports that further sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gas sector will be implemented in April. The Biden Administration has expressed its disappointment with the Venezuelan government’s response, stating that additional sanctions will only be lifted if they fulfill their commitments. The Venezuelan government, however, has defiantly rejected the administration’s demands. Alongside these developments, the Maduro government is also engaged in a battle to regain control of billions of dollars’ worth of gold held in the UK.
OFAC Revokes License of Minerven
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has made the decision to revoke the license of Minerven, the state-owned gold company of Venezuela, which allowed them to participate in gold transactions in international markets. This is a significant move by the U.S. Treasury department, as it marks the winding down of Venezuelan gold operations in the global market.
OFAC Winds Down Venezuelan Gold Operations in International Markets
The U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has officially announced the revocation of Minerven’s license, which enabled them to engage in gold transactions globally. This decision comes as a result of the Venezuelan government’s failure to meet the expectations of the Biden administration. Although the sanctions on Minerven were eased in October, the recent actions of the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal have prompted the U.S. to reinstate the sanctions on Minerven, effective from February 13.
Background of Minerven’s License
Minerven, short for CVG Compania General de Mineria de Venezuela CA, is a state-owned gold company in Venezuela. Up until now, they have been granted a license by OFAC to participate in gold transactions in international markets. This license was initially eased in October as part of an agreement between the U.S. and Maduro’s government, which aimed to review the involvement of key opposition figures in the upcoming presidential ballot.
Reasons for License Revocation
The decision to revoke Minerven’s license stems from the failure of the Venezuelan government to meet the expectations set by the Biden administration. Despite the initial easing of sanctions in October, the highest court in Venezuela upheld the prohibition on Maria Corina Machado, a prominent leader of the opposition, from participating in the upcoming elections. This defiance from the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal has led the U.S. to reinstate the sanctions on Minerven.
Venezuelan Response to Sanctions
The Venezuelan government has responded defiantly to the Biden administration’s reinstatement of sanctions. National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez has called for the acceleration of the re-enactment of oil, gas, and gold-related sanctions. The government’s rejection of the U.S.’s behavior and its refusal to comply with the demands of the agreement have further escalated tensions between the two countries.
Potential Return of Additional Sanctions
In addition to revoking the sanctions relief for Venezuela’s gold sector, the U.S. State Department has suggested that further sanctions may be imposed if the Maduro administration does not fulfill its commitments. The relief for the Venezuelan oil and gas sectors is set to be renewed in April, but this is contingent on the Maduro government meeting the agreed-upon terms. The Biden administration has made it clear that they expect concrete actions from the Venezuelan government to warrant the continuation of relief in these sectors.
Defiance from the Venezuelan Government
The response from the Venezuelan government has been one of defiance and resistance. National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez’s dismissal of the U.S.’s ultimatum reflects the escalating tensions between the two countries. The Venezuelan government appears determined to resist the pressure exerted by the U.S., even in the face of potential economic consequences.
Battle for Control of Gold in the U.K.
The Maduro government is also embroiled in a battle to regain control of approximately $2 billion worth of gold held in the United Kingdom. The interim government, led by Juan Guaidó, has dissolved, further complicating the situation. The resolution of this issue remains uncertain, and it adds another layer of complexity to the already strained relations between the U.S. and Venezuela.
Impact on the Venezuelan Economy
The revocation of Minerven’s license and the potential re-enactment of sanctions in the oil and gas sectors would have a significant impact on the Venezuelan economy. Venezuela heavily relies on oil exports for revenue, and any restrictions on the sector would further exacerbate its economic crisis. Additionally, the revocation of Minerven’s license would limit the country’s access to international gold markets, affecting its ability to generate foreign currency and potentially worsening its financial situation.
The decision by OFAC to revoke Minerven’s license marks a significant development in the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela. The Venezuelan government’s defiance and resistance to the reinstatement of sanctions have further strained relations between the two countries. The potential return of additional sanctions, particularly in the oil and gas sectors, could have severe repercussions for the already struggling Venezuelan economy. The battle for control of gold assets in the U.K. adds another layer of complexity to the situation. The outcome of these developments remains uncertain, but it is clear that the U.S. is taking a firm stance against the Venezuelan government.