By JOSE OROZCO - BLOOMBERG
Bloomberg - The U.S. imposed sanctions on a state-owned Venezuelan weapons company after it traded with Iran, North Korea or Syria, the State Department said in a statement posted on its website.
The U.S. sanctioned the Venezuelan Military Industry Company under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act, known as INKSNA. The sanctions, which the statement didn’t detail, expire in February, 2015. The U.S. also penalized companies or individuals in Belarus, China, Iran, Sudan and Syria, according to the statement.
“There was credible information indicating they had transferred to, or acquired from, Iran, North Korea, or Syria, equipment and technology,” the State Department said yesterday.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is receiving treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer in Cuba, has angered the U.S. by building close ties with Iran and Syria. Chavez has visited Iran nine times during his 14 years in power and signed more than 100 accords with Iran for everything from a Venezuelan campaign to build low-income homes to a joint venture to manufacture bicycles.
The U.S. imposed sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state oil company, in 2011 for working with Iran’s energy industry. According to the State Department, PDVSA, as the company is known, sent two cargoes of gasoline additives worth $50 million to Iran from December 2010 to March 2011.
No one was immediately available at the Venezuelan Military Industry Co. when called today by Bloomberg seeking comment.
Venezuelanalysis.com note: The Venezuelan government has emphasised on numerous ocassions that its relationship with Iran is peaceful. Iran has supplied Venezuela with materials that have been used in Venezuela's housing construction program.
In 2011 the Venezuelan government and many Latin American countries also rejected US sanctions applied to Venezuela's oil company, PDVSA. President Hugo Chavez referred to those sanctions as "US aggression" and the Venezuela government stated it would refuse to adhere to decisions by the US government over Venezuela's oil activity.