On September 25, 2018, OFAC added six individuals, three entities, and an aircraft to the SDN list (link to press release here).  These designations appear to be motivated by a continued effort to pressure the Maduro government to change its policies.  The press release notes that, “By the end of 2018, hyperinflation in Venezuela is projected to reach over one million percent.  Three million Venezuelans will have departed Venezuela for neighboring nations to escape widespread poverty and its attendant hardships.  The Maduro regime, meanwhile, continues to pursue failed policies and financing schemes to mask the regime’s corruption and gross mismanagement. The United States has imposed sanctions on many who have profited during Venezuela’s decline[.]”  These new designations do not specifically target PDVSA or the oil and gas sector.

OFAC added four Venezuelan nationals to the SDN list who play a role in the Maduro government.  The individuals include:

  • Cilia Adela Flores de Maduro (Flores) – First Lady and former Attorney General and President of the National Assembly;
  • Delcy Eloina Rodriguez Gomez (Delcy Rodriguez) – Executive Vice President of Venezuela; former president of the new ANC; former Minister of Popular Power for External Relations;
  • Jorge Jesus Rodriguez Gomez (Jorge Rodriguez) – Minister of Popular Power for Communication and Information; former Mayor of Caracas, Libertador District; former Vice President of Venezuela;
  • Vladimir Padrino Lopez (Padrino) – Defense Minister; former Second Commander and Chief of the General Staff of the Bolivarian and Joint Chief of Staff of the Central Integral Defense Strategic Region.

In addition, OFAC designated an aircraft, three entities, and two individuals associated with Rafael Sarria—a previously designated individual, found to be a front man for Diosdado Cabello Rondon, the President of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly.

The aircraft is:

  • Model G200, serial number (MSN) 228, aircraft tail number N488RC.

The newly designated entities are:

  • AVERUCA C.A. – Venezuelan company operating the aircraft, Sarria is president;
  • Panazeate SL – company based in Spain, owned and operated by Sarria;
  • Quiana Trading Limited – British Virgin Islands company for which Rafael Sarria, at the time of registration in 2009, was the President and sole shareholder; also the beneficial owner of the designated aircraft.

The newly designated individuals associated with Sarria are:

  • Jose Omar Paredes – Chief Pilot of AVERUCA, C.A.;
  • Edgar Alberto Sarria Diaz – Director of Quiana Trading; Chief Executive Officer and sole shareholder of Panazeate SL.