June 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control said on Friday it had removed from its blacklist a former finance vice president of state oil company PDVSA who is the nephew of Venezuela’s first lady Cilia Flores.
Malpica, who also served as National Treasurer, was sanctioned by the United States in July 2017 for alleged acts of corruption.
“The following elimination has been carried out on the list (…) of OFAC: Malpica Flores, Carlos”said in a statement the Office of Assets Control (OFAC, for its acronym in English).
OFAC’s announcement came after a delegation of senior Washington officials met in Caracas in March with Nicholas Maduro in an attempt to resume political dialogue with the Venezuelan opposition.
Among the issues discussed at that meeting was the review of the license of the US oil company Chevron so that it could hold negotiations with the Venezuelan government and the possible removal of Malpica Flores from the list of those sanctioned by OFAC, a US official said at the time. . Read full story
In May, the US Treasury Department renewed Chevron’s license until November, under the same terms as the authorizations granted to the firm since 2020.
The Communications Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The chief negotiator of the Venezuelan opposition, Gerardo Blyde, wrote on his Twitter account upon learning of the OFAC announcement that “the delegation of the Unitarian Platform (opposition) has worked closely with the United States on specific actions that have as purpose of reactivating the negotiation process”.
Blyde, however, did not mention Malpica or a possible immediate revival of the talks, which began in Mexico last August and were suspended by the government in October.
Maduro, who has said that US measures to ease sanctions have been positive, but insufficient; Since June 7, he has been on an international tour that has taken him to Turkey, Algeria, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar and Azerbaijan.
(Reporting by Vivian Sequera and Deisy Buitrago. Editing by Mayela Armas and Javier Leira)
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