Albanisa is allegedly involved in PDVSA-related corruption and the financing of the regime of President Nicolás Maduro.

A prominent activist fighting the Maduro regime in Venezuela has asked the United States government to investigate Alba de Nicaragua S.A. (Albanisa), a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA

Carlos Vecchio, a member of the Voluntad Popular party in Venezuela, said on Wednesday that Albanisa is involved in PDVSA-related corruption and the financing of the regime of President Nicolás Maduro.

“In principle, we are requesting that Albanisa be included among those countries sanctioned for relations with Venezuela,” Vecchio said. “Albanisa is being used to launder money, which is not only benefiting the Ortega family and their leaders, but also a group of Venezuelans linked to Maduro.”

Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro (left) are political allies. LA PRENSA/ARCHIVO

US President Donald Trump’s administration has already slapped sanctions on high-standing members of the Venezuelan government — including Maduro himself — as well as parts of the country’s oil industry, but if officials find that a subsidiary of PDVSA is an accomplice to crimes committed by the dictatorship, it may also receive sanctions.

Officials in Nicaragua have been concerned about possible economic sanctions for most of 2017, due to President Daniel Ortega’s sympathy for the Maduro regime. But activity from Albanisa may prove to be the convincing factor for US officials, who are looking for other routes for stifling Maduro.

“This is just the tip of what is known because I am sure that when you go deep into the investigation it will be much more serious than what we are talking about now,” Vecchio said. “But I insist, and this is what we have told the US administration, the congressmen, and senators: Albanisa must be included in the sanctions.”

Source: La Prensa

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.

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