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No financial sanctions against Spain over Venezuela - Spanish government

Angel Navarrete /Bloomberg

A Bloomberg News story Thursday that said some officials in the Trump administration are pushing for
financial sanctions against Spain.

- U.S. embassy spokesman in Madrid says no sanctions discussion
- Spanish Foreign Ministry says close ties with U.S. maintained

By Jeannette Neumann / Bloomberg

Petroleumworld 11 04 2019

The Spanish government said Friday that Washington isn't mulling any measures against Madrid for its financial and diplomatic ties with Venezuela and a U.S. embassy official said such steps were not currently being considered.

Spain's Foreign Ministry said it had been in contact with U.S. officials in Washington as well as the U.S. Embassy in Madrid after a Bloomberg News story Thursday that said some officials in the Trump administration are pushing for financial sanctions against Spain.

The officials in the U.S. Treasury Department are considering measures against Spain's central bank and other entities where money from Venezuela is parked, according to people familiar with the matter. Other U.S. officials, however, said they opposed such a move against an ally such as Spain, a sign that there are divisions about any potential action.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that after conversations with U.S. officials, Madrid “is in a position to deny that such measures have been considered.”

Later Friday, a spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Madrid said that the “policy discussion” in the Bloomberg article “that is supposedly taking place in Washington does not currently exist.”

He said Washington's priority with Spain as it relates to Venezuela is to “continue our ongoing engagement of enforcement of sanctions targeting the former Maduro regime members.”

The embassy spokesman warned the international business community to “take notice and avoid risk of U.S. sanctions because of dealings with Maduro.” He also urged countries to support the push to allow National Assembly President Juan Guaido to assume his duties as Venezuela's leader.

Spain's Foreign Ministry stressed the close relationship between Madrid and Washington.

“Such collaboration is also clear in the case of Venezuela, where both countries are committed to a prompt resolution to the situation the country is going through,” it said.

Story by Jeannette Neumannfrom Bloomberg. / 11 04 2019


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