US sanctions Moscow bank with ties to Venezuela and Maduro

Washington Examiner:
President Trump is intensifying pressure on Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro by imposing sanctions on a bank jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan government-owned enterprises, the Treasury Department announced Monday.

“The United States will take action against foreign financial institutions that sustain the illegitimate Maduro regime and contribute to the economic collapse and humanitarian crisis plaguing the people of Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin’s team blacklisted Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a Moscow-based bank established by the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in 2011 in coordination with two major state-owned Russian banks. Those institutions, VTB Bank and Gazprombank, have been sanctioned since 2014 in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They have partnered with the Maduro regime to help Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PdVSA, which is also laboring under U.S. sanctions as "an entity that has long been a vehicle for corruption, embezzlement, and money laundering by Maduro and his cronies," as Treasury put it Monday.

“When the failed Venezuelan cryptocurrency, called the Petro, launched in 2018, Evrofinance emerged as the primary international financial institution willing to finance the Petro,” the Treasury bulletin said. “Evrofinance’s involvement in the Petro demonstrated Maduro’s hope that the Petro would allow Venezuela to circumvent U.S. financial sanctions.”

While Venezuelans have faced massive food shortages and energy blackouts, forcing millions to flee the country, Evrofinance's assets grew by 50 percent last year.
...
John Brennan must be in shock to learn that Trump would take punitive action against Putin and his banks which are in cahoots with the Venezuelan despot.  It raises the question of why Obama ever thought Brennan was smart enough to run the CIA.  Perhaps he wanted someone as incompetent as Brennan in that position.

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