MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It really is not a Venezuelan embargo, despite that term being used early in in headlines when the Trump Administration announced that an executive order would ban Americans from doing business with President Nicolás Maduro’s government.
“This is not a broad embargo against all Venezuelan industry,” said Venezuelan analyst Helena Poleo.
It has been characterized as maybe an ‘embargo light’ aimed at Venezuelan military and government officials and front companies who are selling off Venezuelan oil and gold.
“[The United States] has a list of companies that are connected to the Maduro regime as well as his friends,” said Poleo. “The one that are selling of Venezuela’s riches [are] these companies and the American government knows which ones they are.”
Americans can still do business with Venezuelan private enterprise as long as there are no ties to the Maduro government.
“There are not sanctions on doing business with businesses in Venezuela, there is no blockade in the traditional sense,” said FIU Professor Dr. Eduardo Gamarra.
The beefed up sanctions will freeze Venezuelan assets in the United States.
Humanitarian aid, food, and clothing are exempt from the freeze.
All this is aimed at bringing down the Maduro regime, and the word embargo is hard to ignore.
“And even the sound of the word embargo has some significance in the community and for the Venezuelan’s and Cuban’s, not only do we have an embargo on Cuba and now one on Venezuela,” said Dr. Gamarra.
The sanctions will be tough to enforce but critics say but there is also the symbolism.
“It is symbolic because this president wants to make sure that he has a positive [news] here just in time for the 2020 elections,” said Dr. Gamarra.