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International

US sanctions Venezuelan oil minister Quevedo, calls him 'illegitimate' PDVSA president

12:10, Saturday, 16 February, 2019
US sanctions Venezuelan oil minister Quevedo, calls him 'illegitimate' PDVSA president

The US Department of the Treasury on Friday added Venezuelan oil minister Manuel Quevedo to its list of sanctioned individuals blocked from the US financial system, calling him the "illegitimate" president of PDVSA, which has been under US sanctions for three weeks.

US sanctions against PDVSA announced January 28 have caused US Gulf Coast refiners to scramble for alternate sources of heavy crude and have cut off flows of US refined products and diluents to Venezuela. Despite the supply disruptions, the sanctions have not significantly impacted prices.

The sanctions are expected to remain in force as long as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is in office.

Quevedo is a former brigadier general in the Venezuelan National Guard who had no oil experience before being tapped by Maduro to be the country's oil minister in late 2017.

"PDVSA is Venezuela's primary source of income and foreign currency, and has long been used as a vehicle for significant government corruption," Treasury said in designating Quevedo. "Government officials and businessmen alike devised schemes to launder billions of dollars stolen and embezzled for their personal gain."

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