Venezuela prosecutor moves to place travel ban on Guaido

Venezuela prosecutor moves to place travel ban on Guaido

Venezuela prosecutor moves to place travel ban on Guaido

The United States on Monday, January 28, announced sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company, further trying to squeeze Maduro's cash-strapped government.

As a lawmaker who also heads the National Assembly, Guaidó has immunity from criminal investigation which can only be removed by a high court.

Venezuela is very reliant on the U.S. for its oil revenue, sending 41 percent of its oil exports to the U.S. Maduro could however divert the roughly 500,000 barrels per day of oil now being sold to Gulf Coast refineries to markets in Russia, China, India, Malaysia, and Thailand. "Be on alert, Venezuela!"

National Security Advisor John Bolton tweeted another warning to Maduro against intimidating Guaido or the National Assembly, saying it would be "a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response".

He said: "The path to sanctions relief for PDVSA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the interim president or a subsequent democratically elected government who is committed to taking concrete and meaningful actions to combat corruption".

On Tuesday, China's foreign ministry criticised the USA sanctions.

"So when there is a recognition that the company is the property of, the rightful rulers, the rightful leaders, then indeed that money will be available to Guaido".

Opposition leaders have called for anti-government demonstrations this week.

In a defiant broadcast on national television later the same day, Maduro said he would take legal action to challenge the sanctions and defend Citgo Petroleum, PDVSA's US refining subsidiary, which he accused the United States of trying to steal.

Читайте также: Oil up on Venezuela turmoil despite surging United States supply

US military invention is seen in Washington as highly unlikely, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly said "all options are on the table" and notes Bolton held at a Monday briefing containing the words "5,000 troops to Colombia" have raised questions. Brent crude futures surged 2.9% to $61.7 per barrel Tuesday morning on the news, while West Texas Intermediate futures rose 3.4% to $53.9 per barrel.

Venezuela exports about 500,000 barrels of oil daily to the United States, mostly to Citgo and refineries owned by Valero Energy Corp and Chevron Corp. An analyst at a Western bank estimates Rosneft's assets in Venezuela at up to US$2.5 billion, plus another US$2.5 billion in crude supplies for the loan to PDVSA.

When asked if the USA had plans to intervene amid the unrest, Trump said of Venezuela, "We're not considering anything, but all options are on the table", CBS News reported.

Guaido has rejected accusations from Maduro and Moscow that the United States is staging a coup, arguing that Venezuelan citizens are simply exercising their constitutional rights.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told Russian state news agencies Tuesday "there will probably be problems" for Venezuela in paying its debts.

The Kremlin has now warned these sanctions on amounted to illegal and open interference in the Latin American country's domestic affairs.

In Geneva, senior US and Venezuelan diplomats traded jibes at a disarmament conference.

Russian Federation has accused Washington of trying to usurp power in Venezuela and warned against military intervention.

"Sanctions on Venezuela will lead to the deterioration of conditions of people's lives", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing in Beijing.

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