On March 8, 2015, the US government imposed for the first time sanctions against individuals associated with President Maduro’s government. These first sanctions were initially targeted at high ranking public officers and other government collaborators, blocking their property and forbidding their entry into the United States.

After President Trump got into office, the US intensified the sanctions against Maduro’s government. On August 24, 2017, quoting the escalation of the humanitarian crisis and the actions of Venezuela’s rulers, America’s government imposed for the first time economic country-wide sanctions, prohibiting most financial operations related to new debt issuances by the Venezuelan government.

Due to the increasing complexity of the sanction regime the Treasury Department, through its Office of Foreign Assets Control, started publishing a series of guidelines via the issuing of General Licenses to clarify and properly define the limitations and authorizations contained in each of the sanctions established. Since these sanctions have had a great effect on the secondary market for Venezuelan bonds, and due to the sensibility that they pose for those investors with positions in Venezuelan securities, OFAC’s resource centre has become a key source of information, with the sanctions that can be found there becoming a major focus of analysis for all the market players.

The full list of sanctions, guidance files and General licenses can be found here: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/programs/pages/venezuela.aspx

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