Specifically, the Greek tanker was identified as the Despina Adrianna, a 70,000 dwt crude tanker belonging to Ballito Bay Shipping and operated by ProPer In Management.

Additionally, the Andrianna is employed in carrying oil from Venezuela to Cuba in violation of American sanctions on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, as the Department reports.

As Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, stated

Cuba has been an underlying force fuelling Venezuela’s descent into crisis. Treasury is taking action against vessels and entities transporting oil, providing a lifeline to keep the illegitimate Maduro regime afloat.

As the Department addressed, Cuba is an important crude oil importer from Venezuela. Therefore, it politically assists the Venezuelan government by sending political advisors, intelligence and military officials and medical professionals.

Generally, the US imposed sanctions to the Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA, as part of a pressure campaign to make the government of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro step down.

As a result to the sanctions, PDVSA was unable to resume crude exports at its primary Jose port. In the meantime, power varied in most of the country because of the blackout, and President Nicolas Maduro supported that it was a US-backed act of sabotage on the country’s principal hydroelectric dam.