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Trump's Secretary of Commerce does Business with Maduro's Oil Company

The member of the US Cabinet, Wilbur Ross, is one of the owners of a company that provides maritime transport services to Pdvsa, a client that in 2015 contributed over 11 percent of the profits to his shipping company. Although the official had to get rid of his mercantile properties to hold his position, he kept a participation in that line of business through a complex offshore structure in the Cayman Islands. Thus, he did not only do business with chavista Venezuela, but also with an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both countries are subject to economic sanctions by Washington.

05/11/2017 12:00:00

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Despite the recent sanctions imposed by the government of President Donald Trump on top officials of the Venezuelan regime, and having prohibited the financial sector transactions with Venezuelan State bonds, the US Secretary of Commerce (minister), Wilbur L. Ross Jr. has a stake in a shipping company that receives millions of dollars a year in profits for providing coastal trade service to the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa).

Ross, a millionaire private equity investor, sold most of his company's assets before joining President Donald Trump's cabinet in February, but held a stake in the shipping company Navigator Holdings Ltd., established in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. The offshore entities in which Ross and other investors hold a financial stake controlled 31.5% of the company in 2016.