- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Trump administration has blacklisted six Venezuelan-owned oil tankers that were being used by socialist President Nicolas Maduro to transport oil to Cuba.

In a statement released Tuesday, the State Department said the vessels’ actions were violating existing sanctions that are “intended to prevent the theft of Venezuela’s natural resources for corrupt purposes.”

The tankers belong to state-run oil company PDVSA. One was operating under a new name “Nedas” — after the U.S. blocked the same ship earlier this year under the name “Esperanza.”

The decision marks the latest move by the U.S. to pressure Cuba into abandoning its support for Caracas and Mr. Maduro, whom the U.S. and over 50 other countries have called to step aside.

Cuba continues to prop up Nicolas Maduro, subverting the Venezuelan people’s right to self-determination and undermining Venezuelan institutions,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

He vowed that the U.S. will continue to hold Havana accountable for its role in supporting the regime, and will continue to support opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has said Mr. Maduro was fraudulently elected and declared himself the country’s interim president.

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