US eases sanctions on Venezuela over vaccine purchase

US President Joe Biden | Photo: OLIVER CONTRERAS / Agência EFE / Gazeta do Povo

The U.S. government has relaxed some economic sanctions against Venezuela to allow the acquisition of pandemic-related equipment, such as vaccines, masks, oxygen cylinders and ventilators, according to a Treasury Department statement released Thursday. ).

“The measures affect transactions and activities related to the delivery of face masks, ventilators, oxygen tanks, vaccines and vaccine production, Covid-19 tests, air filtration systems and ‘field hospitals,’ detailed the Treasury, which said it also relaxed sanctions. against Iran and Syria with the same objective.

The move comes after an analysis within Joe Biden’s government to assess whether the sanctions are hampering responses to the pandemic by affected countries. In the specific case of Venezuela, the Treasury said the measure will allow sanctioned entities, such as the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV), Banco de Venezuela and Banco Bicentenário and its subsidiaries, to carry out this type of transaction. On the other hand, he clarified that the economic sanctions against the state oil company PDVSA and its business network remain intact.

The Nicolás Maduro dictatorship denounced last week that an international bank had blocked $ 10 million deposited in the Covax mechanism for the purchase of vaccines following US sanctions. Former US President Donald Trump imposed a series of sanctions against Venezuela during his tenure. After five months in power, Biden kept them, although he claims to study them. EFE

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