United States hits 'corrupt' Venezuela oil firm PDVSA with sanctions

Saul Bowman
January 29, 2019

Members of the U.S. Congress are slamming U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize a Venezuelan opposition leader as the country's interim president.

Ruling left-wing SYRIZA party issued its own statement last week in which it expressed support for "the legitimate President" Maduro. He said European nations should leave Venezuela, if they so wanted.

Maduro says the United States is promoting a coup against him and promised to stay in office, backed by Russian Federation and China, which have bankrolled his government and fought off efforts to have his government disavowed by the United Nations.

Venezuela's embattled President Nicolas Maduro rejected an worldwide ultimatum to call elections within eight days and said opposition leader Juan Guaido had violated the country's constitution by declaring himself leader.

Guaido, 35, declared himself interim president on Wednesday after Maduro was sworn in for a second term. Transport costs would also jump because Venezuela's ports aren't well-equipped to load supertankers for transporting oil to such distant markets, said Russ Dallen, managing partner of Caracas Capital, a brokerage.

"Nobody gives us an ultimatum, he said".

But the history of USA military involvement in Latin America, along with reports that the administration met past year with Venezuelan officers who wanted to plot a coup before rebuffing them, has raised questions about whether the White House would direct a military intervention again.

"We can not hand pick leaders for other countries on behalf of multinational corporate interests", she said one tweet.

He also rejected an ultimatum set by some European countries for fresh election in Venezuela, calling those countries "insolent".

Mr Maduro told CNN Turk that American "power in the world is in decline and it's ending".

In rival press conferences, Guaido urged his followers to stage another mass protest next week, while Maduro pushed his call for dialogue. But for those on the hard edges of the American left, nothing has changed since the end of the Cold War: The U.S. continues to be the boogeyman, and Latin America continues to be a victim that lacks agency.

Maduro has stood firm in the face of demonstrations against his rule this week, winning the endorsement of key military leaders and vowing to defeat what he calls a USA -backed coup against his government.

Moises Rendon, associate director of the Americas Program at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Saturday that Maduro's opponents should ready themselves for a long struggle.

The Venezuelan regime showed signs of disarray yesterday after its most senior military envoy in Washington announced he was defecting, and Mike Pompeo called on the world to "pick a side" in the escalating political crisis.

Then there's the $65 billion in Venezuela's and state oil company PDVSA's outstanding bonds, nearly none of which are being paid and whose prices rallied 25 percent on news of Guaido's challenge to Maduro's authority.

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