On Saturday, Business Insider reported that one of the final official acts of former President Donald Trump’s administration was to accidentally place a small pizzeria in Verona, Italy on a list of sanctioned Venezuelan businesses.
“On former President Donald Trump’s last day of office, he ordered that sanctions be imposed on a network of Venezuelan oil firms and individuals associated with the state oil company — Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA),” reported Joshua Zitser. “However, an unfortunate mistake meant that two Italian business owners, who shared the same name as a man involved in the Venezuelan oil trade, had their businesses targeted in the crackdown.”
The other business accidentally placed on the sanctions list was a graphic design studio in Sardinia. The Biden administration has already corrected the issue, unfreezing the businesses’ assets.
“When I heard that my current accounts had been blocked, I thought it was a joke,” said the pizzeria owner, Alessandro Bazzoni to Corriere della Sera. “These are already difficult times for us restaurant owners, the last thing I needed was to have my accounts blocked … I thank the new American government for the efficiency with which it intervened.”
Throughout most of Trump’s presidency, he sought to contain Venezuela, which has suffered a number of internal conflicts and human rights violations under authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro, exacerbated by an economic crisis and fraud-riddled election. However, Trump’s efforts featured many mistakes, including a botched “invasion” that led to the arrest of two Americans.