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US Puts 'on Notice' Companies Facilitating Venezuela-Cuba Oil Shipments - Bolton

© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikUS National Security Advisor John Bolton
US National Security Advisor John Bolton - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Insurance companies and flag carriers facilitating oil shipments from Venezuela to Cuba are on notice after the Venezuelan National Assembly suspended crude exports to Cuba, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a statement.

"The Venezuelan National Assembly has decreed the suspension of crude exports to Cuba following the collapse of the national electrical grid", Bolton said via Twitter on Monday. "Insurance companies and flag carriers that facilitate these give-away shipments to Cuba are now on notice".

The United States has imposed numerous rounds of sanctions against Venezuela in response to the political developments in the country. In January, the United States blocked $7 billion in assets belonging to Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA.

READ MORE: US Secretary of State Blames Cuba, Russia For Venezuela Crisis

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that by blocking PDVSA assets, the United States was taking care of this company in the interests of the Venezuelan people. Caracas has slammed the move as unlawful and accused Washington of seeking to get its hands on Venezuelan oil reserves.

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Moreover, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the US sanctions were tantamount to an illegal seizure of the country's sovereign assets.

The political crisis in Venezuela escalated in late January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself to be the country's interim president.

READ MORE: Guaido Calls on Europe to Tighten Pressure on Maduro

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The United States and 54 countries have recognized Guaido, but Russia, China, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for constitutionally elected Maduro and his government as Venezuela’s only legitimate authority.

Maduro was sworn in for his second presidential term in January after winning the May 2018 elections. He has characterized Guaido as a puppet of the United States and accused Washington of attempting to stage a coup d’etat in Venezuela to exact a change in government.

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