London - Three Greece-based shipping firms said they have halted trade with Venezuela after the United States imposed sanctions on vessels under their management, as Washington ramps up commercial heat on Caracas.
The U.S. government is seeking to choke Venezuelan oil exports to starve the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro of its main source of revenue. Existing sanctions have cut Venezuelan exports sharply, but Maduro has held on.
Washington may tighten sanctions by adding dozens more tankers to an existing blacklist, sources told Reuters.
The U.S. Treasury said on June 2 it had imposed sanctions on four shipping companies for transporting Venezuelan oil.
Athens-based Dynacom Tankers Management, which manages the Chios I tanker, among the ships blacklisted, said in a statement on Monday it was “committed to refraining from any future business involving Venezuela”.