Venezuela is of limited strategic importance to Russia, though it offers symbolic significance in demonstrating Putin’s reach into a region seen as Washington’s backyard. Russia doesn’t have the capacity to send forces there as it did to support Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, limiting itself to publicity stunts like a December visit by two nuclear-capable bombers.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-06/russia-starts-to-worry-maduro-s-grip-is-slipping-in-venezuela – 2/6/2019
Big Crayon BackChannels suggests that nominally socialist Venezuela indulged its leaders in breathtaking kleptocracy while failing to develop its oil industry with care and taking measures to free and diversify the licit potential of its national economy (for coverage of the illicit potential possessed by Venezuela’s present leadership, one may click over to InSight Crime‘s eight-part series, “Venezuela: A Mafia State?”).
Moscow reads the news too, and while perhaps absent of conscience but mindful of money, it’s confidence in the success of the political societies once aligned, captivated, or enthralled with their relationship to the Soviet may be dimming. While perhaps putting a “little” money in the under-the-table pockets of its own, it has also watched parts of Central and South American states churn into cesspool of competing cartels and gangs destroying communities, exporting the nasty — the full smorgasbord of contraband — and for hundreds of thousands producing flight en masse anywhere that hasn’t become a personal no-security hell. Now the chief Phantom of the Soviet appears to be having a look-see at the future of at least one portfolio of debt accumulated by a once ideologically favored son and the picture just isn’t so wonderful as it must have once appeared.
Banning the trading of Russian bonds have been tossed around ever since Trump got elected. Anti-Russian politicians on both sides of the aisle have taken full advantage of Trump being caught in a Russian scandal to force the president to play super hardball with Vladimir Putin and anyone within a country mile of him.https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2019/02/19/could-russian-bonds-be-subject-to-venezuela-style-sanctions/#9aa301d75664 – 2/19/2019
Since taking office, Trump has already signed harsher sanctions against Russian individuals and Russian companies, making some of them extra-territorial. Extra-territorial means sanctions apply to non-U.S. citizens and entities transacting with the sanctioned firm subject to penalties.