Florida Senate - 2024                                     SM 398
       By Senator Avila
       39-00738A-24                                           2024398__
    1                           Senate Memorial                         
    2         A memorial to urge the United States Secretary of
    3         State to implement policies at the United States
    4         Department of State that reinstate economic sanctions
    5         on Nicolás Maduro and his Venezuelan dictatorship and
    6         impose sanctions on companies that do business with
    7         Venezuela.
    9         WHEREAS, beginning in 2008, the United States imposed
   10  sanctions on the Venezuelan regime as Hugo Chávez began
   11  expropriating oil assets of companies including Exxon Mobil and,
   12  in 2017, the Trump administration placed economic sanctions on
   13  the Venezuelan dictatorship, targeting the state-owned oil and
   14  natural gas company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), and
   15         WHEREAS, on January 28, 2019, the United States Department
   16  of the Treasury, pursuant to Emergency Order 13850, designated
   17  PDVSA as operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy,
   18  and the Secretary of the Treasury determined that the company
   19  was subject to United States sanctions that included the
   20  freezing of all property and interests subject to the United
   21  States’ jurisdiction, whose value was estimated at $7 billion,
   22  and prohibited individuals and companies in the United States
   23  from doing business with PDVSA, including exporting naphtha, and
   24         WHEREAS, in February 2019, Nicolás Maduro ordered PDVSA to
   25  move its European office to Moscow to protect the company’s
   26  overseas assets from United States sanctions, and
   27         WHEREAS, on February 18, 2020, the Office of Foreign Assets
   28  Control of the United States Department of the Treasury
   29  designated Rosneft Oil Company’s Swiss-incorporated company,
   30  Rosneft Trading S.A., as operating in the oil sector of
   31  Venezuela for brokering the sale and transport of Venezuelan
   32  crude oil and supporting Nicolás Maduro’s regime, and
   33         WHEREAS, continuing through 2021, the United States has
   34  sanctioned Venezuela’s Central Bank, National Development Bank,
   35  and Minerven, the state-owned gold company, as well as
   36  individuals that assisted PDVSA in evading sanctions, and
   37         WHEREAS, the Biden administration has eased sanctions on
   38  companies that trade in oil produced in Venezuela or invest in
   39  the country’s oil industry in response to Venezuela’s agreement
   40  to allow free elections in 2024, and
   41         WHEREAS, this misguided change in policy lessened the
   42  impact of longstanding sanctions aimed at promoting freedom and
   43  democracy in Venezuela and could increase the flow of Venezuelan
   44  oil into the global crude market, but is not expected to help
   45  lower the prices that have remained stubbornly high amid turmoil
   46  in Europe and the Middle East, and
   47         WHEREAS, on October 18, 2023, the sanctions on the export
   48  of crude oil and refined petroleum were lifted for a period of 6
   49  months, and Minerven is authorized to conduct transactions that,
   50  unfortunately, will provide revenue to the Maduro regime which
   51  it can use to stay in power and spread terror and corruption
   52  around the globe, and
   53         WHEREAS, decades of corruption and mismanagement at PDVSA
   54  have resulted in a rusted drilling infrastructure that is
   55  pumping less than a third of the 3 million barrels a day that
   56  Venezuela produced during its peak production in the early
   57  2000s, and
   58         WHEREAS, on October 30, 2023, the Maduro-aligned Venezuelan
   59  Supreme Court suspended the opposition’s entire primary
   60  elections process, including the election results, and ordered
   61  organizers to hand over documents identifying millions of voters
   62  after the opposition’s primary election garnered more support
   63  than expected, leading many in the United States Congress to
   64  support the reinstatement of sanctions on the Venezuelan
   65  dictatorship, NOW, THEREFORE,
   67  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   69         That the United States Secretary of State is urged to
   70  implement policies at the United States Department of State that
   71  reinstate economic sanctions on Nicolás Maduro and his
   72  Venezuelan dictatorship and impose sanctions on companies that
   73  do business with Venezuela.
   74         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State dispatch
   75  copies of this memorial to the President of the United States,
   76  the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the
   77  United States House of Representatives, the United States
   78  Secretary of State, and each member of the Florida delegation to
   79  the United States Congress.