Other OFAC Related Sanctions Programs

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Rafael Márquez get’s a Red Card not from the Ref, but from U.S. Government

On 09 August 2017, Mexican soccer legend Rafael Márquez was blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He was placed on the Specially Designated Nationals List), under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). As a SDN, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are prohibited from doing any business with the soccer giant. 

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Venezuela Hit again by U.S. Sanctions: Next Cuba?

On 26 July 2017, OFAC imposed a new wave of sanctions against Venezuela. The OFAC action blacklists 13 current or former senior officials of the Venezuelan Government that the U.S. Government holds responsible for the undermining of democracy, violence against opposition protesters and corruption.  As a result, all assets of these individuals subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are prohibited from dealing with them.

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U.S. Sanctions Venezuelan Supreme Court

On 18-05-2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s OFAC slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia or TSJ and Constitutional Chamber TSJ-C). OFAC designated eight members of the TSJ for their contribution to undermining the Venezuelan democratic process). Specifically, the black-listings are based on Executive Order 13692, which impose both a travel ban (into the U.S.) and freeze all assets (subject to U.S. jurisdiction) of the blacklisted judges. As a result, all U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with these persons.

U.S. Congress slaps North Korea with more sanctions

On 04 May 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act (H.R. 1644). This latest salvo of U.S. sanctions against North Korea aims to thwart Pyongyang’s advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The sanctions target North Korea’s shipping industry and use of slave labor. The approved bill has now moved to the U.S. Senate, who must now approve the restrictive measures.

U.S. decides to give Sudan some sanctions relief

On 17 January 2017, President Obama controversially authorized the easing of sanctions against Sudan (falling under SSR and E.O.’s 13067 and 13412). The decision was made in a step towards normalizing bi-lateral relations with Sudan. U.S. officials defend the change in policy towards Khartoum as a response to the latter’s steps towards improving humanitarian access, lowering violence internally, as well as “cooperation with the United States on counter-terrorism and addressing regional conflicts.”

Attacking Human Rights Violations: UK Parliament set to vote on British-style Magnitsky Sanctions

UK Parliament is to vote on a Magnitsky “Amendment,” which has been inserted into the Criminal Finances bill. The Amendment aims to curb money-laundering and terror financing. Similar to the 2012 U.S. law, the Amendment is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, turned whistle-blower, who died in 2009 after uncovering a $230m theft from the state budget by tax officials. If the amendment is adopted into law, both the UK Government and private parties could request the High Court to freeze UK assets of parties, involved or facilitating human rights violations, from profiting from gross human rights abuses in any country.