US to step up pressure campaign on Venezuelan oil
President Donald Trump has decided to step up sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, the top US envoy to the Latin American country said on Monday.
Iran Press/America: The US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told Reuters in an interview that there will be more sanctions as Washington plans to go after continued customers of Venezuelan oil, including those in Asia, and target intermediaries helping Caracas hide the origin of its oil.
“The President has made a decision to push harder on the Venezuelan oil sector and we’re going to do it. And what we’re telling people involved in this sector is that they should get out of it,” Abrams said.
Venezuela’s oil exports last year plummeted 32% to 1.001 million barrels per day, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and state-run PDVSA’s reports. Rosneft Trading, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Rosneft, was the largest receiver and intermediary with 33.5% of total exports, followed by state-run China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and its units with 11%.
Venezuela has been suffering from a severe political crisis since the beginning of last year, when Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, proclaimed himself an interim president of Venezuela in a bid to oust constitutionally-elected Maduro from power.
Maduro has accused Guaido of being a US puppet working with Washington to orchestrate a coup so that the United States can control Venezuela’s natural resources.
Several countries, led by the US, recognized Guaido, while Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and a number of other states firmly backed Maduro.