CARACAS – Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, slammed U.S. licenses that restrict cash payments to his administration by companies doing business with sanctioned Venezuelan state firms.
The U.S. and European governments last year authorized US and European firms to resume taking Venezuelan crude oil on the condition that no funds be paid to Venezuela. The United States allowed Trinidad & Tobago to import gas from a Venezuelan offshore field last week and prohibited cash exchange.
Permits were issued as part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s efforts to secure a fair presidential election between Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition.
“They tell a country it has permission to negotiate with Venezuela, but it cannot pay in dollars or any form of cash. It must pay with food or products,” Maduro said in a broadcast. “That is colonialism.”
The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which issued the licenses, was criticized by Maduro for trying to dictate how state and private companies should do business with Venezuela.
“It is a joke to sovereign countries. I call sovereign countries and governments in America and the Caribbean to denounce this colonial model. We do not accept it, we will go on our way,” he said.
There was no indication of any upcoming action from Maduro.
As a result of Trinidad’s license last week, Venezuela has not commented publicly on whether it will negotiate with it.