The political stature of Venezuela, which after the last round of US sanctions was already baffled, suffered another blow on Friday after additional sanctions were announced. Announcement by President Donald Trump’s administration meant that the embargo was once again aimed at forcing President Nicolas Maduro out of the power.
The latest move by the administration was directed at oil shipments between Venezuela and Cuba, a country that has been accused of supporting the President Nicolas Maduro’s autocratic government.
In a speech to the Venezuela exile community in Houston, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States is levying sanctions on 34 vessels owned or operated by Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., state-owned oil beneficiary. Apart from this, the administration also levied the sanctions on two international companies that transport Venezuela crude oil to Cuba.
“Venezuela’s oil belongs to the Venezuelan people,” said Pence, who is also expected to speak at the United Nations Security Council next week on the situation in Venezuela. Besides, even other officials of administration said that the move was to force a “recalibration” of the relationship between Venezuela and Cuba, alongside China and Russia, who have been out rightly supporting Maduro government.
However, in the initial stages, the sanctions are meant to halt the arrangements by which Maduro government provides oil to Cuba. In exchange for which the nation gets intelligence and counterintelligence service, while people continue suffering from lack of basic amenities such as food, medicine and clean water. As a fact, the shipments from Venezuela to Cuba account for 20,000 to 50,000 barrels of oil per day, a number which is expected to suffer a major blow.
President Donald Trump along with 50 other nations had already recognized Juan Guaido, as the President, however, major problems still prevail. A senior administration official said on Friday that the latest round of sanctions would “tighten the noose of the financial strangulation of Maduro and his cronies.” Nonetheless, it still remains to be seen if this option on the table can oust Maduro or not.
Correspondingly, with the pain of falling economy adversely affecting the common man more than anyone else, the extent of implication by Trump’s administration continues to draw a parallel.
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