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Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Miami Airport Hilton, 5101 Blue Lagoon Drive, Miami, FL 33126

Moderator: Patricia Hernandez, Esq., Partner, Avila, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Mena &Ferri LLP

Panelists: Andres Fernandez, Esq., Partner, Holland & Knight

Mariola Triana Sanchez, Esq., General Counsel, Amerant Bank, N.A.

Caroll Khabbaz, Esq, VP, International Compliance Manager, Banesco USA

(Miami, FL) – On November 20, 2019, South Florida Banking Institute (SFBI) held a much awaited Sanctions/Venezuela panel. With yet another executive order issued in August of 2019 and additional FAQs made by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury, experts from the banking industry and attorneys met to discuss the update on sanctions and their impact in South Florida, as well as to inform on banking industry best practices to best deal with Venezuelan risks. The Sanctions/Venezuela panel was moderated by Patricia Hernandez, Esq. of Partner, Avila, Rodriguez, Hernandez, Mena &Ferri LLP. Hernandez, Esq. introduced the panelists, Andres Fernandez, Esq., of Holland & Knight, Mariola Triana Sanchez, Esq., of Amerant Bank, N.A., and Caroll Khabbaz, Esq., of Banesco USA.

All of the panelists described the challenges South Florida has continued to face when dealing with the specifications and need for clarifications for the prohibitions that OFAC has imposed. The impact resulting from the Venezuelan sanctions has negatively impacted the everyday person, especially immigrants in South Florida. The sanction prohibitions have nurtured negative effects on the well-being of targeted individuals, to creating financial need and even need to proper access to healthcare. South Florida banking professionals and attorneys have assumed the responsibility of advancing awareness of challenges resulting from OFAC, to navigating nuances for the customer, and becoming an asset in protecting the best interest of specifically targeted communities.

To learn more about OFAC, please visit:



The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 591, to incorporate additional Executive orders, add a general license authorizing U.S. Government activities, and add an interpretive provision. This regulatory amendment is currently available for public inspection with the Federal Register and will take effect upon publication in the Federal Register on November 22, 2019.

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