Greece-based shipping firms halt trade with Venezuela
(Reuters) – Three Greece-based shipping companies 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 US 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 US 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.” NGM Energy SA, which manages another vessel blacklisted, the Voyager I tanker, said separately on Friday that it had implemented “a strict policy against servicing vessels intending to call at Venezuela or to load cargo of Venezuelan origin in the future, absent express US authorization.” Another leading Greek ship firm, Thenamaris, said it was fully cooperating with US authorities to resolve sanctions against the Seahero tanker that it manages and the vessel’s owner Adamant Maritime Ltd.