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The opponent Juan Guaido announced Thursday the appointment of a new direction for Citgo, the U.s. subsidiary of the state oil company, in an additional attempt to asphyxiate economically the government of president Nicolas Maduro.
“The new directorate will be composed of Venezuelans qualified, not implicated in corruption scandals and have no political affiliation”, has announced on Twitter Juan Guaido, recognized interim president by fifty countries.
Oil from Venezuela is heavy, it is refined in part in the United States through Citgo, a subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).
“By this decision, not only we protect our assets, but we also avoid further destruction of the enterprise, we avoid its loss,” added the opponent.
The United States, with which Caracas broke off diplomatic relations after the immediate recognition of Juan Guaido as acting president, have already officially given the control of the bank accounts venezuelans in the u.s., the leader of the opposition.
From 28 April, they also intend to impose an embargo on exports of essential crude oil of venezuela to the u.s. market.
Caracas estimated that the damage caused to the economy by the “american blockade” amounted to $ 30 billion.
Shortly before, the us president, Donald Trump has reiterated that it did not exclude any track with regard to Venezuela. “There are different solutions, different options. We are studying all options,” said Mr. Trump from the White House, where he received his colombian counterpart Ivan Duque.
Nicolas Maduro has called this meeting of the “festival of hatred” against his country. “Do not touch Venezuela !”, warned the head of the socialist State, criticizing the two leaders who have preferred to talk of Venezuela “instead of the cocaine produced in Colombia”, the world’s largest producer of this drug.
The debacle in oil
Venezuela is shaken by a severe economic crisis has caused the exile of more than 2.3 million of its inhabitants, according to the UN.
A sign of this economic collapse, PDVSA, which is the mainstay of the economy, was once one of the five largest oil companies in the world. It is now in full collapse, leaded by a fall in production, a debt abyssal and u.s. sanctions.
The company exports to the United States nearly half of its crude production, representing 75% of its cash flow. The petroleum finance 96% of the State budget.
On Wednesday, the us Agency of energy (EIA) has stated that the purchases of crude oil venezuelan totaled $ 117 000 barrels/day last week, five times less than at the end of January.
“We have made a step forward in the rebuilding of PDVSA,” said Mr. Guaido, who indicated that he would also ask the european Union (EU) to freeze the assets and accounts venezuelans on its territory.
Nicolas Maduro, backed by Russia, Turkey, Iran and China, accusing Washington of wanting to overthrow him to seize the country’s oil reserves, the largest in the world.
Iron arms humanitarian
Donald Trump has also said that Nicolas Maduro made a “terrible error” in preventing the humanitarian aid the united states to enter the country.
The entry of food and medicine, which are stored in Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, is the subject for several days of a standoff between Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido.
The venezuelan president, who denies any famine in his country, the judge that this help — he refuses — is only a “show policy”, as a prelude to a military intervention of the United States. On Wednesday, he treated Mr. Guaido “puppet that is a work horse of Troy” in favor of Washington.
The colombian president stressed the need to keep the pressure on Caracas: “With president Donald Trump, we share this goal: to free Venezuela of the dictator”.
Prior to this meeting, the venezuelan minister of foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza, said on Twitter that the head of the colombian State had visited the White House to receive his “bosses” “a good note in the development of a plan of coup d’état in Venezuela.”
On Tuesday, Juan Guaido had once again defied Nicolas Maduro in ensuring that the aid would enter the country on 23 February.
Its representative to the coordination of emergency assistance, the member of the opposition Lester Toledo, visit to Brazil, has ensured that the military venezuelans will “help” with the delivery of aid. “They know they need to get on the good side of the story,” he said.
On the diplomatic front, the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov warned his us counterpart Mike Pompeo against any “use of force” in Venezuela.