U.S. slaps sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm

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"If the people in Venezuela want to continue to sell us oil, as long as the money goes into blocked accounts we will continue to take it".

On January 23, 696 people were detained across the country, the highest daily number of detentions in Venezuela in 20 years.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Monday applauded an expected decision by the Trump administration to impose sanctions against state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) as pressure increases to cut sources of funding to Nicolás Maduro's regime.

The move to recognize Guaido by these European powers followed similar recognition by Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia last week. He said one member of Venezuela's Bolivarian national guard was reportedly killed in the state of Monagas.

Guaido said in an interview with CNN in Spanish on Monday that Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress had approved a measure asking foreign nations to ensure the country's assets aren't "looted" by Maduro.

Guaido is the leader of the country's National Assembly, and declared himself the interim president of Venezuela last week.


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the U.N. Security Council at the U.N Headquarters, Jan. 26, 2019.

Bolton may have inadvertently revealed the Trump administration's next move against Venezuela when photographers captured a note on a legal pad that clearly read: "5,000 troops to Columbia".

Maduro has backed down on his order to shut down the USA embassy in Caracas and the expulsion of all US diplomats.

The sanctions could cause problems for Venezuela when it comes to servicing its sovereign debt to Russia, which stands at $3.15 billion, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told reporters on Tuesday.

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.

China believes that Venezuela's affairs must and can only be decided by the its own people, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.


"The relevant country's sanctions on Venezuela will lead to the deterioration of conditions of people's lives", Geng told a regular news briefing in Beijing, referring to the United States.

Rosneft, Russia's biggest oil producer, operates in Venezuela and has issued loans to PDVSA, backed by oil supplies.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin shares the view of the Venezuelan government that the sanctions are "illegal" and sees them as a tool of unfair competition on part of the United States.

"Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and rubber bullets against participants and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism", the advisory said.

The Trump administration had long held off targeting Venezuela's oil sector for fear that it would hurt USA refiners and raise oil prices for Americans.


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