[USC02] 22 USC Ch. 104: VENEZUELA ASSISTANCE
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22 USC Ch. 104: VENEZUELA ASSISTANCE
From Title 22—FOREIGN RELATIONS AND INTERCOURSE

CHAPTER 104—VENEZUELA ASSISTANCE

SUBCHAPTER I—SUPPORT FOR THE INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA AND RECOGNITION OF THE VENEZUELAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Sec.
9701.
Findings; sense of Congress in support of the Interim President of Venezuela.
9702.
Recognition of Venezuela's democratically elected National Assembly.
9703.
Advancing a negotiated solution to Venezuela's crisis.

        

SUBCHAPTER II—HUMANITARIAN RELIEF FOR VENEZUELA

9711.
Humanitarian relief for the Venezuelan people.
9712.
Support for efforts at the United Nations on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

        

SUBCHAPTER III—ADDRESSING REGIME COHESION

9721.
Additional restrictions on visas.
9722.
Waiver for sanctioned officials that recognize the Interim President of Venezuela.

        

SUBCHAPTER IV—RESTORING DEMOCRACY AND ADDRESSING THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN VENEZUELA

9731.
Support for international election observation and democratic civil society.

        

SUBCHAPTER V—SUPPORTING THE RECONSTRUCTION OF VENEZUELA

9741.
Recovering assets stolen from the Venezuelan people.

        

SUBCHAPTER VI—RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW IN VENEZUELA

9751.
Developing and implementing a coordinated sanctions strategy with partners in the Western Hemisphere and the European Union.
9752.
Concerns over PDVSA transactions with Rosneft.
9753.
Countering Russian influence in Venezuela.
9754.
Restriction on export of covered articles and services to certain security forces of Venezuela.

        

SUBCHAPTER VII—MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

9761.
Congressional briefings.
9762.
Prohibition on construction of provisions of this chapter as an authorization for the use of military force.
9763.
Termination.

        

SUBCHAPTER I—SUPPORT FOR THE INTERIM PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA AND RECOGNITION OF THE VENEZUELAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

§9701. Findings; sense of Congress in support of the Interim President of Venezuela

(a) Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) Venezuela's electoral event on May 20, 2018 was characterized by widespread fraud and did not comply with international standards for a free, fair, and transparent electoral process.

(2) Given the fraudulent nature of Venezuela's May 20, 2018 electoral event, Nicolás Maduro's tenure as President of Venezuela ended on January 10, 2019.

(3) The National Assembly of Venezuela approved a resolution on January 15, 2019 that terminated Nicolás Maduro's authority as the President of Venezuela.

(4) On January 23, 2019, the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela was sworn in as the Interim President of Venezuela.

(b) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress—

(1) to support the decisions by the United States Government, more than 50 governments around the world, the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the European Parliament to recognize National Assembly President Juan GuaidoÿAE1 as the Interim President of Venezuela;

(2) to encourage the Interim President of Venezuela to advance efforts to hold democratic presidential elections in the shortest possible period; and

(3) that the Organization of American States, with support from the United States Government and partner governments, should provide diplomatic, technical, and financial support for a new presidential election in Venezuela that complies with international standards for a free, fair, and transparent electoral process.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §111, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3030.)

Short Title

Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §101, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3030, provided that: "This title [enacting this chapter and amending provisions set out as a note under section 1701 of Title 50, War and National Defense] may be cited as the 'Venezuela Emergency Relief, Democracy Assistance, and Development Act of 2019' or the 'VERDAD Act of 2019'."

§9702. Recognition of Venezuela's democratically elected National Assembly

(a) Findings

Congress finds that Venezuela's unicameral National Assembly convened on January 6, 2016, following democratic elections that were held on December 6, 2015.

(b) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that Venezuela's democratically elected National Assembly is the only national level democratic institution remaining in the country.

(c) Policy

It is the policy of the United States to recognize the democratically elected National Assembly of Venezuela as the only legitimate national legislative body in Venezuela.

(d) Assistance to Venezuela's National Assembly

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall prioritize efforts to provide technical assistance to support the democratically elected National Assembly of Venezuela in accordance with section 9731 of this title.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §112, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3031.)

§9703. Advancing a negotiated solution to Venezuela's crisis

(a) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) direct, credible negotiations led by the Interim President of Venezuela and members of Venezuela's democratically elected National Assembly—

(A) are supported by stakeholders in the international community that have recognized the Interim President of Venezuela;

(B) include the input and interests of Venezuelan civil society; and

(C) represent the best opportunity to reach a solution to the Venezuelan crisis that includes—

(i) holding a new presidential election that complies with international standards for a free, fair, and transparent electoral process;

(ii) ending Nicolás Maduro's usurpation of presidential authorities;

(iii) restoring democracy and the rule of law;

(iv) freeing political prisoners; and

(v) facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid;


(2) dialogue between the Maduro regime and representatives of the political opposition that commenced in October 2017, and were supported by the Governments of Mexico, of Chile, of Bolivia, and of Nicaragua, did not result in an agreement because the Maduro regime failed to credibly participate in the process; and

(3) negotiations between the Maduro regime and representatives of the political opposition that commenced in October 2016, and were supported by the Vatican, did not result in an agreement because the Maduro regime failed to credibly participate in the process.

(b) Policy

It is the policy of the United States to support diplomatic engagement in order to advance a negotiated and peaceful solution to Venezuela's political, economic, and humanitarian crisis that is described in subsection (a)(1).

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §113, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3031.)

SUBCHAPTER II—HUMANITARIAN RELIEF FOR VENEZUELA

§9711. Humanitarian relief for the Venezuelan people

(a) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) the United States Government should expand efforts to peacefully address Venezuela's humanitarian crisis; and

(2) humanitarian assistance—

(A) should be targeted toward those most in need and delivered through partners that uphold internationally recognized humanitarian principles; and

(B) should not be passed through the control or distribution mechanisms of the Maduro regime.

(b) Humanitarian relief

(1) In general

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall provide—

(A) humanitarian assistance to individuals and communities in Venezuela, including—

(i) public health commodities and services, including medicines and basic medical supplies and equipment;

(ii) basic food commodities and nutritional supplements needed to address growing malnutrition and improve food security for the people of Venezuela, with a specific emphasis on the most vulnerable populations; and

(iii) technical assistance to ensure that health and food commodities are appropriately selected, procured, targeted, and distributed; and


(B) Venezuelans and hosting communities, as appropriate, in neighboring countries with humanitarian aid, such as—

(i) urgently needed health and nutritional assistance, including logistical and technical assistance to hospitals and health centers in affected communities;

(ii) food assistance for vulnerable individuals, including assistance to improve food security for affected communities; and

(iii) hygiene supplies and sanitation services.

(2) Aid to Venezuelans in neighboring countries

The aid described in paragraph (1)(B)—

(A) may be provided—

(i) directly to Venezuelans in neighboring countries, including countries of the Caribbean; or

(ii) indirectly through the communities in which the Venezuelans reside; and


(B) should focus on the most vulnerable Venezuelans in neighboring countries.

(c) Humanitarian assistance strategy update

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall submit, to the appropriate congressional committees, an update to the Venezuela humanitarian assistance strategy described in the conference report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 116–6), to cover a 2-year period and include—

(1) a description of the United States humanitarian assistance provided under this section;

(2) a description of United States diplomatic efforts to ensure support from international donors, including regional partners in Latin America and the Caribbean, for the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Venezuela;

(3) the identification of governments that are willing to provide financial and technical assistance for the provision of such humanitarian assistance to the people of Venezuela and a description of such assistance; and

(4) the identification of the financial and technical assistance to be provided by multilateral institutions, including the United Nations humanitarian agencies, the Pan American Health Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank, and a description of such assistance.

(d) Diplomatic engagement

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall work with relevant foreign governments and multilateral organizations to coordinate a donors summit and carry out diplomatic engagement to advance the strategy required under subsection (c).

(e) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated $400,000,000 for fiscal year 2020 to carry out the activities set forth in subsection (b).

(f) Defined term

In this section, the term "appropriate congressional committees" means—

(1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(2) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(3) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

(4) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §121, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3032.)

References in Text

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 116–6), referred to in subsec. (c), is Pub. L. 116–6, Feb. 15, 2019, 133 Stat. 13, known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

§9712. Support for efforts at the United Nations on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela

(a) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that the United Nations humanitarian agencies should conduct and publish independent assessments of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, including—

(1) the extent and impact of the shortages of food, medicine, and medical supplies in Venezuela;

(2) basic health indicators in Venezuela, such as maternal and child mortality rates and the prevalence and treatment of communicable diseases; and

(3) the efforts needed to resolve the shortages identified in paragraph (1) and to improve the health indicators referred to in paragraph (2).

(b) United Nations Resident Coordinator

The President should instruct the Permanent Representative to the United Nations to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States at the United Nations to support the efforts of the Resident Coordinator for Venezuela in a manner that—

(1) contributes to Venezuela's long-term recovery; and

(2) advances humanitarian efforts in Venezuela and for Venezuelans residing in neighboring countries.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §122, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3033.)

SUBCHAPTER III—ADDRESSING REGIME COHESION

§9721. Additional restrictions on visas

(a) In general

The Secretary of State shall impose the visa restrictions described in subsection (c) on any foreign person who the Secretary determines—

(1) is a current or former senior official of the Maduro regime, or any foreign person acting on behalf of such regime, who is knowingly responsible for, complicit in, responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, or participating in (directly or indirectly) any activity in or in relation to Venezuela, on or after January 23, 2019, that significantly undermines or threatens the integrity of—

(A) the democratically-elected National Assembly of Venezuela; or

(B) the President of such National Assembly, while serving as Interim President of Venezuela, or the senior government officials under the supervision of such President;


(2) is the spouse or adult child of a foreign person described in paragraph (1); or

(3) is the spouse or adult child of 1 Venezuelan person sanctioned under—

(A) section 5(a) of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–278), as amended by section 163 of this title2

(B) section 1903(b) of title 21; or

(C) Executive Orders 13692 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) and 13850.

(b) Removal from visa revocation list

Pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State may establish to implement this section—

(1) if any person described in subsection (a)(1) recognizes and pledges support for the Interim President of Venezuela or a subsequent democratically elected government of Venezuela, that person and any family members of that person who were subject to visa restrictions pursuant to subsection (a)(2) shall no longer be subject to such visa restrictions; and

(2) if any person described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of subsection (a)(3) recognizes and pledges support for the Interim President of Venezuela or a subsequent democratically elected government of Venezuela, any family members of that person who were subject to visa restrictions pursuant to subsection (a)(3) shall no longer be subject to such visa restrictions.

(c) Visa restrictions described

(1) Visas, admission, or parole

An alien described in subsection (a) is—

(A) inadmissible to the United States;

(B) ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and

(C) otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

(2) Current visas revoked

(A) In general

An alien described in subsection (a) is subject to revocation of any visa or other entry documentation regardless of when the visa or other entry documentation is or was issued.

(B) Immediate effect

A revocation under subparagraph (A) shall—

(i) take effect immediately; and

(ii) automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien's possession.

(3) Exceptions

Sanctions under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply with respect to an alien if admitting or paroling the alien into the United States is necessary—

(A) to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations; or

(B) to carry out or assist law enforcement activity in the United States.

(d) Rulemaking

The President shall issue such regulations, licenses, and orders as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §132, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3035.)

References in Text

Section 5(a) of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–278), referred to in subsec. (a)(3)(A), is section 5(a) of Pub. L. 113–278, Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 3011, which is set out in a note under section 1701 of Title 50, War and National Defense. Section 5(a) was not amended by section 163 of title I of div. J of Pub. L. 116–94. However, an earlier version of the Act comprising such title I (S. 1025 of the 116th Cong., 1st Sess.) contained a section 603 that did amend section 5(a) of Pub. L. 113–278, but the amendment was not included anywhere in the version enacted by Pub. L. 116–94.

Executive Order No. 13692, referred to in subsec. (a)(3)(C), is Ex. Ord. No. 13692, Mar. 8, 2015, 80 F.R. 12747, which is listed in a table under section 1701 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

Executive Order No. 13850, referred to in subsec. (a)(3)(C), is Ex. Ord. No. 13850, Nov. 1, 2018, 83 F.R. 55243, which is listed in a table under section 1701 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

The Immigration and Nationality Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(C), is act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, which is classified principally to chapter 12 (§1101 et seq.) of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of Title 8 and Tables.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by "a".

2 See References in Text note below.

§9722. Waiver for sanctioned officials that recognize the Interim President of Venezuela

(a) Removal of sanctions

If a person sanctioned under any of the provisions of law described in subsection (b) recognizes and pledges supports for the Interim President of Venezuela or a subsequent democratically elected government, the person shall no longer be subject to such sanctions, pursuant to such procedures as the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury may establish to implement this section.

(b) Sanctions described

The sanctions described in this subsection are set forth in the following provisions of law:

(1)(A) Paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 5(a) of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Public Law 113–278), as amended by section 163 of this title.1

(B) Paragraph (5) 1 of section 5(a) of such Act, to the extent such paragraph relates to the sanctions described in paragraph (3) or (4) of such subsection.1

(2)(A) Clauses (1) and (4) of section 1(a)(ii)(A) of Executive Order 13692 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note).

(B) Subparagraph (D)(2) of section 1(a)(ii) of such Executive Order, to the extent such subparagraph relates to the provisions of law cited in subparagraph (A).

(3)(A) Section 1(a)(ii) of Executive Order 13850.

(B) Paragraph (iii) of section 1(a) of such Executive Order, to the extent such paragraph relates to the provision of law cited in subparagraph (A).

(c) Rulemaking

The President shall issue such regulations, licenses, and orders as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §133, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3036.)

References in Text

Section 5(a) of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is section 5(a) of Pub. L. 113–278, Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 3011, which is set out in a note under section 1701 of Title 50, War and National Defense. Section 5(a) was not amended by section 163 of title I of div. J of Pub. L. 116–94 and does not contain a par. (4) or (5). However, an earlier version of the Act comprising such title I (S. 1025 of the 116th Cong., 1st Sess.) contained a section 603 that did amend section 5(a) of Pub. L. 113–278 by redesignating par. (3) as (5) and adding new pars. (3) and (4) relating to sanctions on persons undermining democratic governance and responsible for public corruption. That amendment was not included anywhere in the version enacted by Pub. L. 116–94.

Executive Order No. 13692, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), is Ex. Ord. No. 13692, Mar. 8, 2015, 80 F.R. 12747, which is listed in a table under section 1701 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

Executive Order No. 13850, referred to in subsec. (b)(3), is Ex. Ord. No. 13850, Nov. 1, 2018, 83 F.R. 55243, which is listed in a table under section 1701 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

1 See References in Text note below.

SUBCHAPTER IV—RESTORING DEMOCRACY AND ADDRESSING THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN VENEZUELA

§9731. Support for international election observation and democratic civil society

(a) In general

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development—

(1) shall work with the Organization of American States to ensure credible international observation of future elections in Venezuela that contributes to free, fair, and transparent democratic electoral processes; and

(2) shall work with nongovernmental organizations—

(A) to strengthen democratic governance and institutions, including the democratically elected National Assembly of Venezuela;

(B) to defend internationally recognized human rights for the people of Venezuela, including support for efforts to document crimes against humanity and violations of human rights;

(C) to support the efforts of independent media outlets to broadcast, distribute, and share information beyond the limited channels made available by the Maduro regime; and

(D) to combat corruption and improve the transparency and accountability of institutions that are part of the Maduro regime.

(b) Engagement at the Organization of American States

The Secretary of State, acting through the United States Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, should advocate and build diplomatic support for sending an election observation mission to Venezuela to ensure that democratic electoral processes are organized and carried out in a free, fair, and transparent manner.

(c) Briefing requirement

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall provide a briefing on the strategy to carry out the activities described in subsection (a) to—

(1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(2) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(3) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

(4) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(d) Authorization of appropriations

(1) In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State for fiscal year 2020, $17,500,000 to carry out the activities set forth in subsection (a).

(2) Notification requirements

Amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) are subject to the notification requirements applicable to expenditures from the Economic Support Fund under section 2346(c) of this title and from the Development Assistance Fund under section 2413(a) of this title, to the extent that such funds are expended.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §143, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3038.)

SUBCHAPTER V—SUPPORTING THE RECONSTRUCTION OF VENEZUELA

§9741. Recovering assets stolen from the Venezuelan people

(a) Recovering assets

The President, acting through the Secretary of State and in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall advance a coordinated international effort—

(1) to work with foreign governments—

(A) to share financial investigations intelligence, as appropriate;

(B) to block the assets identified pursuant to paragraph (2); and

(C) to provide technical assistance to help governments establish the necessary legal framework to carry out asset forfeitures; and


(2) to carry out special financial investigations to identify and track assets taken from the people and institutions of Venezuela through theft, corruption, money laundering, or other illicit means.

(b) Strategy requirement

(1) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the President, acting through the Secretary of State and in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall submit a strategy for carrying out the activities described in subsection (a) to Congress.

(2) Additional elements

The strategy required under paragraph (1) shall—

(A) assess whether the United States or another member of the international community should establish a managed fund to hold the assets identified pursuant to subsection (a)(2) that could be returned to a future democratic government in Venezuela; and

(B) include such recommendations as the President and the Secretary of State consider appropriate for legislative or administrative action in the United States that would be needed to establish and manage the fund described in subparagraph (A).

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §151, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3039.)

SUBCHAPTER VI—RESTORING THE RULE OF LAW IN VENEZUELA

§9751. Developing and implementing a coordinated sanctions strategy with partners in the Western Hemisphere and the European Union

(a) Strengthening sanctions capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall offer to provide technical assistance to partner governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to assist such governments in establishing the legislative and regulatory frameworks needed to impose targeted sanctions on officials of the Maduro regime who—

(1) are responsible for human rights abuses;

(2) have engaged in public corruption; or

(3) are undermining democratic institutions and processes in Venezuela.

(b) Coordinating international sanctions

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall engage in diplomatic efforts with partner governments, including the Government of Canada, governments in the European Union, and governments in Latin America and the Caribbean, to impose targeted sanctions on the Maduro regime officials described in subsection (a).

(c) Strategy requirement

Not later than 90 days after December 20, 2019, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall submit a strategy for carrying out the activities described in subsection (a) to—

(1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(2) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(3) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate;

(4) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives;

(5) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(6) the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives.

(d) Authorization of appropriations

(1) In general

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State for fiscal year 2020, $3,000,000 to carry out the activities set forth in subsection (a).

(2) Notification requirements

Amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) are subject to the notification requirements applicable to expenditures from the Economic Support Fund under section 2346(c) of this title and the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Fund under section 2291h of this title to the extent that such funds are expended.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §161, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3040.)

§9752. Concerns over PDVSA transactions with Rosneft

(a) Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) In late 2016, Venezuelan state-owned oil company PetroÿAE1leos de Venezuela, S.A. (referred to in this section as "PDVSA"), through a no compete transaction, secured a loan from Russian government-controlled oil company Rosneft, using 49.9 percent of PDVSA's American subsidiary, CITGO Petroleum Corporation, including its assets in the United States, as collateral. As a result of this transaction, 100 percent of CITGO is held as collateral by PDVSA's creditors.

(2) CITGO, a wholly owned subsidiary of PDVSA, is engaged in interstate commerce and owns and controls critical energy infrastructure in 19 States of the United States, including an extensive network of pipelines, 48 terminals, and 3 refineries, with a combined oil refining capacity of 749,000 barrels per day. CITGO's refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is the sixth largest refinery in the United States.

(3) The Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Rosneft, which is controlled by the Government of the Russian Federation, and its Executive Chairman, Igor Sechin, following Russia's military invasion of Ukraine and its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

(4) The Department of Homeland Security has designated the energy sector as critical to United States infrastructure.

(5) The growing economic crisis in Venezuela raises the probability that the Maduro regime and PDVSA will default on their international debt obligations, resulting in a scenario in which Rosneft could come into control of CITGO's United States energy infrastructure holdings.

(b) Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) control of critical United States energy infrastructure by Rosneft, a Russian government-controlled entity currently under United States sanctions that is led by Igor Sechin, who is also under United States sanctions and is a close associate of Vladimir Putin, would pose a significant risk to United States national security and energy security; and

(2) a default by PDVSA on its loan from Rosneft, resulting in Rosneft coming into possession of PDVSA's United States CITGO assets, would warrant careful consideration by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

(c) Preventing Rosneft from controlling United States energy infrastructure

The President shall take all necessary steps to prevent Rosneft from gaining control of critical United States energy infrastructure.

(d) Security risk report

Not later than 90 days after December 20, 2019, the President shall submit a report assessing the national security risks posed by potential Russian acquisition and control of CITGO's United States energy infrastructure holdings to—

(1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(2) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;

(3) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate;

(4) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives;

(5) the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives; and

(6) the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §163, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3041.)

§9753. Countering Russian influence in Venezuela

(a) Short title

This section may be cited as the "Russian-Venezuelan Threat Mitigation Act".

(b) Threat assessment and strategy to counter Russian influence in Venezuela

(1) Defined term

In this subsection, the term "appropriate congressional committees" means—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and

(B) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(2) Threat assessment

Not later than 120 days after December 20, 2019, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees regarding—

(A) an assessment of Russian-Venezuelan security cooperation;

(B) the potential threat such cooperation poses to the United States and countries in the Western Hemisphere; and

(C) a strategy to counter threats identified in subparagraphs (A) and (B).

(c) Aliens ineligible for visas, admission, or parole

(1) Aliens described

An alien described in this paragraph is an alien who the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of either Secretary) knows, or has reason to believe, is acting or has acted on behalf of the Government of Russia in direct support of the security forces of the Maduro regime.

(2) Visas, admission, or parole

An alien described in paragraph (1) is—

(A) inadmissible to the United States;

(B) ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and

(C) otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

(3) Current visas revoked

(A) In general

An alien described in paragraph (1) is subject to revocation of any visa or other entry documentation regardless of when the visa or other entry documentation is or was issued.

(B) Immediate effect

A revocation under subparagraph (A) shall—

(i) take effect immediately; and

(ii) automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien's possession.

(4) Exceptions

Sanctions under paragraphs (2) and (3) shall not apply with respect to an alien if admitting or paroling the alien into the United States is necessary—

(A) to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations; or

(B) to carry out or assist law enforcement activity in the United States.

(5) National security

The President may waive the application of this subsection with respect to an alien if the President—

(A) determines that such a waiver is in the national interest of the United States; and

(B) submits a notice of, and justification for, such waiver to the appropriate congressional committees.

(6) Sunset

This subsection shall terminate on the date that is 1 year after December 20, 2019.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §165, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3043.)

References in Text

The Immigration and Nationality Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(C), is act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, which is classified principally to chapter 12 (§1101 et seq.) of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of Title 8 and Tables.

§9754. Restriction on export of covered articles and services to certain security forces of Venezuela

(a) Short title

This section may be cited as the "Venezuela Arms Restriction Act".

(b) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Appropriate congressional committees

The term "appropriate congressional committees" means—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(B) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate;

(C) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

(D) the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives.

(2) Covered article or service

The term "covered article or service"—

(A) for purposes of subsection (c), means—

(i) a defense article or defense service (as such terms are defined in section 2794 of this title); and

(ii) any article included on the Commerce Control List set forth in Supplement No. 1 to part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations under subchapter C of chapter VII of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, and controlled for crime control purposes, if the end user is likely to use the article to violate the human rights of the citizens of Venezuela; and


(B) for purposes of subsection (d), means—

(i) any defense article or defense service of the type described in section 2794 of this title; and

(ii) any article of the type included on the Commerce Control List set forth in Supplement No. 1 to part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations and controlled for crime control purposes.

(3) Foreign person

The term "foreign person" means a person that is not a United States person.

(4) Person

The term "person" means an individual or entity.

(5) Security forces of Venezuela

The term "security forces of Venezuela" includes—

(A) the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, including the Bolivarian National Guard;

(B) the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service;

(C) the Bolivarian National Police; and

(D) the Bureau for Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigations of the Ministry of Interior, Justice, and Peace.

(6) United States person

The term "United States person" means—

(A) a United States citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States; or

(B) an entity organized under the laws of the United States or of any jurisdiction within the United States, including a foreign branch of such an entity.

(c) Restriction on export of covered articles and services to certain security forces of Venezuela

(1) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, covered articles or services may not be exported from the United States to any element of the security forces of the Maduro regime.

(2) Determination

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and the heads of other departments and agencies, as appropriate, shall—

(A) determine, using such information that is available to the Secretary of State, whether any covered article or service has been transferred since July 2017 to the security forces of Venezuela without a license or other authorization as required by law; and

(B) submit such determination in writing to the appropriate congressional committees.

(d) Report

(1) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2019, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, as appropriate, shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees regarding the transfer by foreign persons of covered articles or services to elements of the security forces of Venezuela that are under the authority of the Maduro regime.

(2) Matters to be included

The report required under paragraph (1) shall include—

(A) a list of all significant transfers by foreign persons of covered articles or services to such elements of the security forces of Venezuela since July 2017;

(B) a list of all foreign persons who maintain an existing defense relationship with such elements of the security forces of Venezuela; and

(C) any known use of covered articles or services by such elements of the security forces of Venezuela or associated forces, including paramilitary groups, that have coordinated with such security forces to assault, intimidate, or murder political activists, protesters, dissidents, and other civil society leaders, including Juan GuaidoÿAE1.

(e) Sunset

This section shall terminate on the earlier of—

(1) the date that is 3 years after December 20, 2019; or

(2) the date on which the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Venezuela has returned to a democratic form of government with respect for the essential elements of representative democracy as set forth in Article 3 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, adopted by the Organization of American States in Lima on September 11, 2001.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §166, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3044.)

SUBCHAPTER VII—MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

§9761. Congressional briefings

(a) Humanitarian assistance; sanctions coordination

(1) In general

Not later than 15 days after any of the congressional committees listed in paragraph (2) requests a briefing regarding the implementation—

(A) of section 9711 of this title, the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall provide such briefing to such committee; and

(B) of section 9751 of this title, the Secretary of State shall provide such briefing to such committee.

(2) Congressional committees

The committees listed in this paragraph are—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(B) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(C) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

(D) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(b) United Nations; negotiated solution; crimes against humanity

(1) In general

Not later than 15 days after any congressional committee listed in paragraph (2) requests a briefing regarding the implementation of section 9703 of this title, 9712 of this title, or 142,1 the Secretary of State shall provide such briefing to such committee.

(2) Congressional committees

The congressional committees listed in this paragraph are—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and

(B) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

(c) Regime cohesion

(1) In general

Not later than 15 days after a congressional committee listed in paragraph (2) requests a briefing regarding the implementation of section 131,1 the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence shall provide such briefing to such committee.

(2) Congressional committees

The congressional committees listed in this paragraph are—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(B) the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate;

(C) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

(D) the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives.

(d) International election observation; democratic civil society

Not later than 15 days after a congressional committee listed in subsection (a)(2) requests a briefing regarding the implementation of section 9731 of this title, the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall provide such briefing to such committee.

(e) Visa restrictions; sanctions waiver

Not later than 15 days after a congressional committee listed in subsection (b)(2) requests a briefing regarding the implementation of section 9721 or 9722 of this title, the Secretary of State shall provide such briefing to such committee.

(f) Recovery of stolen assets

(1) In general

Not later than 15 days after a congressional committee listed in paragraph (2) requests a briefing regarding the implementation of section 9741 of this title, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Attorney General shall provide such briefing to such committee.

(2) Congressional committees

The congressional committees listed in this paragraph are—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(B) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate;

(C) the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate;

(D) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives;

(E) the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives; and

(F) the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

(g) PDVSA transactions with Rosneft

(1) In general

Not later than 15 days after a congressional committee listed in paragraph (2) requests a briefing regarding the implementation of section 9752 of this title, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide such briefing to such committee.

(2) Congressional committees

The congressional committees listed in this paragraph are—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(B) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;

(C) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and

(D) the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §181, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3046.)

References in Text

Section 142, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is section 142 of title I of div. J of Pub. L. 116–94, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3038, which is not classified to the Code.

Section 131, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), is section 131 of title I of div. J of Pub. L. 116–94, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3034, which is not classified to the Code.

1 See References in Text note below.

§9762. Prohibition on construction of provisions of this chapter as an authorization for the use of military force

Nothing in this chapter may be construed as an authorization for the use of military force.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §182, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3048.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this title", meaning title I of div. J of Pub. L. 116–94, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3030, known as the Venezuela Emergency Relief, Democracy Assistance, and Development Act of 2019, and also as the VERDAD Act of 2019, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of title I to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 9701 of this title and Tables.

§9763. Termination

The requirement to impose sanctions under this chapter shall terminate on December 31, 2023.

(Pub. L. 116–94, div. J, title I, §183(b), Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3048.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this title", meaning title I of div. J of Pub. L. 116–94, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3030, known as the Venezuela Emergency Relief, Democracy Assistance, and Development Act of 2019, and also as the VERDAD Act of 2019, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of title I to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 9701 of this title and Tables.