Venezuela's PDVSA Looks To Reroute Oil To Europe, Asia Amid US Sanctions

Fredrick Soto
February 7, 2019

"The United States of America stands ready to deliver humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people in Venezuela as well", Pence told a crowd of Venezuelan exiles.

Their meeting comes amid massive protests in Venezuela aimed at pressing Maduro, the country's socialist leader, to vacate the presidency.

"This is a pivotal moment for the people of Venezuela - we are observing a widespread rejection of the Maduro regime's illegitimate claim to power following fraudulent elections last May", he said.

The crisis in Venezuela came to a boiling point when Maduro was recently sworn in for a second term as Venezuela's president, despite global criticism that his re-election is illegitimate.

The government "expresses its most energetic rejection of the decision adopted by some European governments, in which they officially submit to the USA administration's strategy to overthrow the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro", it said in a statement, and singled out Spain for acting "cowardly".

Labour's splits over Venezuela were exposed today as Emily Thornberry called for new elections and backed sanctions against the regime.

The move follows the failure of the embattled incumbent Nicolas Maduro to call new presidential elections as demanded by the Europeans and other foreign countries. Emergency supplies including medicines and high-protein foods are arriving in Cucuta this week at the request of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido But Mr Maduro is taking a defiant stance in the face of this latest challenge to his weakening authority.

Venezuela's National Assembly, headed by self-proclaimed acting president Guaido, was to discuss the process of gathering badly-needed food and medicines in neighbouring countries before bringing it in.

"I anticipate having perhaps a dozen locations all around Venezuela where such aid will be staged", the official said.

However, Venezuela's opposition, led by Guaido, has made it clear that any offers of dialogue must start with negotiating the terms of Maduro's exit.

The United States could attempt to seek the approval of the United Nations Security Council to deliver aid without Maduro's cooperation, but Russian Federation would likely block such a move.

On Saturday, an air force general defected to the opposition and reportedly fled to neighbouring Colombia, and posted a video on YouTube declaring that his country's transition to democracy was "imminent".

In an address to his ruling party's legislators, Erdogan said the European Union countries had "delivered the presidency of a nation to someone who hasn't even been through an election". In a statement, it accused them of submitting to a USA "strategy to overthrow the legitimate government" and singled out Spain for acting "cowardly".

They have joined the United States in pushing for a change of regime in Venezuela, which is now seeing an acute shortage of medicines and hyperinflation despite being an oil-rich country.

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