US blacklists 6 Venezuelan oil tankers over Cuba trips

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is blacklisting six vessels that belong to the state-run oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. for transporting oil to Cuba.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control says in a press release that in return for the oil, Cuba supports the government of Nicolás Maduro by providing security and intelligence assistance.

The agency also identified the vessel Esperanza, which had been blacklisted under the name Nedas. It’s the property of Caroil Transport Marine Ltd.,

Washington has imposed economic sanctions on PDVSA and dozens of officials with the goal of removing Maduro from power.

The United States and more than 50 countries consider Maduro’s re-election in 2018 as fraudulent, and they recognize instead opposition leader Juan Guaidó as legitimate president of the Caribbean nation.