Swiss banks have joined the US sanctions against Venezuela, meaning the South American country’s diplomatic missions in Bern and Geneva are running out of funds to do their work and pay their staff.
“We’re in a situation of financial impotence,” complains César Méndez, the Venezuelan ambassador in Bern. The embassy’s bank accounts at Credit Suisse were suddenly closed, he says. Since then, no money can be sent from Caracas to Bern.
A Credit Suisse spokesman says the bank won’t comment on “possible business relations”.
Méndez has also contacted other banks, including PostFinance, but none would open an account for him.
“We met the Swiss authorities, some of whom reacted with surprise and even embarrassment,” he tells swissinfo.ch. “But we were then told that they couldn’t get involved because it was a private matter between a bank and its clients.”