Caracas will do everything possible to minimize effects of new illegal US sanctions against Venezuelan energy giant PdVSA on the global oil market.
Venezuela was exporting about 500,000 bpd to the USA. European and Asian customers should not be afraid to buy oil from the country because Washington’s sanctions apply only to US entities.
Washington imposed sanctions against PdVSA last week, seizing $7 billion in assets. US National Security Advisor John Bolton said that in addition to that, the sanctions will affect $11 billion worth of the company’s exports over the coming year.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro criticized US sanctions on PdVSA, saying the restrictions were tantamount to illegal seizure, based on bribery and extortion.
Venezuela is home to the world’s largest oil reserves. Oil sales account for 98% of export earnings and as much as 50% of GDP. Washington is betting that the sanctions-hit PdVSA will be unable to export enough oil, causing the Venezuelan government to quickly run out of cash.
At the same time, the USA is trying to force international recognition of the chairman of the National Assembly Juan Guaido as the country’s new president.
For much of the past twenty years, critics of U.S. foreign policy have noted that it is often countries with sizeable oil reserves (Iraq, Libya, Sudan) that most often find themselves the targets of U.S.-backed “humanitarian” interventions aimed at “restoring democracy.
The current U.S. effort to topple the government led by Nicolás Maduro has become notable for the openness of the “coup architects” in admitting that putting American corporations – Chevron and Halliburton chief among them — in charge of Venezuelan oil resources is the driving factor behind this hostile policy.
Largely overlooked, however, is the fact that Bolton stated that the US administration is working closely “with major American companies now that are either in Venezuela, or in the case of Citgo, here in the USA.”
Given that Citgo is largely owned by Venezuela’s state oil company PdVSA, Bolton’s statement reveals that the corporations backing Washington’s regime-change push are those currently operating in Venezuela.
Now with Venezuela’s oil industry in the crosshairs, Chevron and Halliburton are again set to benefit from Washington’s regime-change policies abroad.
Furthermore, as Bolton’s recent statements suggest, these companies are also the top corporate sponsors of the current U.S.-backed coup to topple the government in Caracas.
It should then come as no surprise that recent U.S. government confiscations on Venezuela’s oil sectors included exemptions for both Halliburton and Chevron.
Equally unsurprising is the fact that the U.S.-backed “president” of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, has already signaled his plans to privatize Venezuela’s national oil assets to foreign corporations if he succeeds in ousting Maduro.
Mint Press / ABC Flash Point Oil News 2019.