U.S. imposes sanctions on Venezuela state oil firm PDVSA

Daniel Fowler
January 29, 2019

This comes after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ended all USA purchases of oil from PDVSA on Monday.

Mr Maduro remains in control of the country because of support from the military, despite massive protests against his Government amid an economic crisis that has caused millions to flee the country.

"What America and its Western allies must fear more than the left-wing credentials of President Nicolas Maduro is the likelihood of China becoming the new owner of Venezuela's oil industry".

Although Venezuela remains one of the top sources of US' oil imports despite ideological rivalry, massive Chinese investments in its lucrative oil market are thought to be a reason for concern in the United States.

"We have continued to expose the corruption of Maduro and his cronies, and today's action ensures they can no longer loot the assets of the Venezuelan people", Bolton said at a White House news conference.

Guaido said opposition sympathizers should take to the streets on Wednesday to pass out copies of a pamphlet proposing amnesty that would give some legal protection to members of the military in hopes they will turn against Maduro.

The phrase "5,000 troops to Colombia" was spotted on national security adviser John Bolton's notepad during Monday's press briefing at the White House.

Pence stressed the US stands with the people of Venezuela to hold Maduro accountable for his crimes.

Mnuchin says United States consumers should not expect to see higher prices at gas stations if the sanctions are not called off.

Chris Williamson backed the Venezuelan regime's position
Chris Williamson backed the Venezuelan regime’s position

"The Maduro crime family has used PDVSA to buy and keep the support of many military leaders", Rubio said.

Guaido is asking for help in getting control of the Venezuelan government's offshore assets.

The Venezuelan government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the US move.

This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.

In 2017, the most recent year that data were available, Venezuela accounted for about 6 percent of US crude imports. Citgo, Valero Energy Corp and Chevron Corp are the three largest buyers of Venezuelan crude in the United States.

Guaido, who argues that Maduro usurped the presidency when he began a second six-year term on January 10 following last May's election, has moved to set up new boards of directors for Citgo and PDVSA, which could allow his parallel government to collect money held in escrow accounts in the United States.

Russian Federation has derided the move as an attempt by the United States to exact regime change on Venezuela, in an emergency UN Security Council meeting. That inevitably means that the regime will stop sending the oil.

For its part, China stated the unilateral sanctions will only further aggravate the situation while urging Donald Trump's administration to take responsibility for the possible consequences.

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