U.S. Blacklists the President of Venezuela as a Specially Designated National (SDN)

Today the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took the unusual step of blacklisting the leader of a foreign country as a Specially Designated National (SDN). OFAC added Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela, to the SDN List after a flawed vote that essentially replaced the country’s democratically elected legislature with a new body that backs the embattled Maduro regime. The designation means that Mr. Maduro’s assets in the United States will be seized and that U.S. persons are now generally prohibited from conducting direct or indirect transactions involving the President. The addition of Maduro to the SDN List follows the designation last week of several government-linked individuals, including an executive at the state-run PDVSA oil company. The United States is said to be considering additional sanctions on the country, including sanctions targeting Venezuela’s oil industry.