LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several companies that certify vessels are seaworthy and ship insurers have withdrawn services to tankers involved in the Venezuelan oil trade as the United States targets the maritime industry to tighten sanctions on the Latin American country.
U.S. sanctions have driven Venezuela’s oil exports to their lowest levels in nearly 80 years, starving President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government of its main source of revenue and leaving authorities short of cash for essential imports such as food and medicine.
The sanctions are part of U.S. efforts to weaken Maduro’s grip on power after Washington and other Western democracies accused him of rigging a 2018 re-election vote. Despite the country’s economic collapse, Maduro has held on and frustrated the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.
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