Daily US Times: An Italian restaurant owner accidentally put on a US sanctions list before former President Donald Trump left the White House has described the last couple of months as a “nightmare”.
Alessandro Bazzoni, who owns a restaurant and pizzeria in the northern Italian city of Verona, had sanctions in a case of mistaken identity, slapped against his company as part of the previous US administration’s crackdown on blacklisted Venezuelan crude oil.
The US treasury also mistakenly blacklisted SeriGraphicLab, which is a graphic design company owned by another man in the same name Alessandro Bazzoni, in Sardinia. The owner of SeriGraphicLab confirmed that his company had been erroneously hit with sanctions in January but declined to comment further.
In 2019, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Venezuela’s state oil company, in an attempt to force the resignation of President Nicolás Maduro, who the United States accused of corruption, rigging his 2018 re-election and human rights violations.
Trump sanctioned a network of oil individuals and firms tied to PDVSA on his last day in office,
The restaurant owner Bazzoni discovered his company’s name – AMG SAS Di Alessandro Bazzoni & C – was on the US blacklist during a visit to his bank on 19 January, the day before Donald Trump left office and the new president Joe Biden, was sworn in.
Bazzoni told Corriere della Sera; “When I heard that my current accounts had been blocked, I thought it was a joke.”
He told the newspaper he solved the problem himself, “by entering my data on a special digital platform of the US government”.
“While I was at it I managed to get a visa until 2023,” he added.
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