You are currently viewing Boletín informativo: Aspectos Generales de la Ley Bolívar

Newsletter: General Aspects of the Bolivar Law

The Committee on Homeland Security and Government Relations of the U.S. Congress published on March 17, 2021 the Prohibiting Business Transactions and Leases with the Illegitimate Venezuelan Authoritarian Regime Act (BOLIVAR Act), which, as its name indicates, is intended to prohibit contracting with persons who have business dealings with the "Regime of President Nicolás Maduro".


The law is aimed primarily at U.S. Executive Agencies.. For a better understanding it should be noted that Section 133, Title 41 of the United States Code defines and classifies the term Executive Agencies as follows:

  • Executive Departments, including the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, among others.
  • The Military Departments, among which those related to the Navy, the Air Force and the Navy stand out.
  • Independent establishments that are part of the Executive Branch other than Executive Departments, Military, Government Corporations.
  • Government Corporations wholly owned by the United States, as established in section 91, title 33 of the United States Code, which mentions an ample catalog of this type of corporations, among them the U.S. Export-Import Bank.


The prohibitions for Executive Agencies do not apply to those contracts that the Secretary of State determines under the following assumptions:

  • As needed to provide humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan populationThe United States is also responsible for the operation of the United States Air Force, assisting in natural disasters or other measures of vital urgency, carrying out evacuations that are not related to military conflicts, or operations that are in the national security interest of the United States.

For such purposes, the Secretary of State shall notify the corresponding Congressional Committees of any contract related to the aforementioned assumptions.

  • Activities that support the U.S. Government in VenezuelaThe Company's business operations, i.e., those commercial operations that are necessary for the maintenance of U.S. Government facilities or offices in Venezuela or other contracts with international organizations.

On the other hand, those persons holding a valid license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) are not subject to the aforementioned prohibitions.

With respect to U.S. Diplomatic Missions with Venezuela, the prohibitions also do not apply to contracts relating to the operation and maintenance of U.S. Government consular and diplomatic offices in Venezuela.


As to its application, the provisions will apply to those contracts entered into as of the time the law was enacted. In view of the foregoing, it is of great importance to point out that the prohibitions contained in the law are directed to the Executive Agencies of the United States, as mentioned above, unlike the prohibitions contained in the law that are directed to the Executive Agencies of the United States. sanctions issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).The prohibitions and restrictions are directed at U.S. persons or entities of U.S. origin.

Prepared by Attorneys at Law:

Milangela Tachón Scopazzo
Andres Poleo Miglio
OFAC Sanctions Certificates

Sources consulted: