China, Russia opposes unilateral sanctions against Venezuela

Venezuela's Guaido expresses concern over Greek position | News

The United States should bear responsibility for the consequences of its sanctions on Venezuela, China said on Tuesday, after Washington imposed sweeping restrictions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA.

On Monday evening, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton walked into a press briefing about new sanctions on Venezuela with a yellow legal pad that was, accidentally or not, turned to face the press pack.

Monica de Bolle, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the Maduro regime probably wants to keep the accounts so that Venezuela's creditors don't try to take those assets. "Be on alert, Venezuela!"

Venezuela is in the midst of a constitutional crisis involving Maduro-who this month was sworn in for a second term as Venezuela's president following an election that dozens of countries, including the United States, called a sham-and Guaidó, who declared himself president last week.

The measures are the latest in an global pressure campaign on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to cede power after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim leader last week. Both countries have lent billions of dollars to Venezuela and are concerned about new stress on debt payments.

China has said it opposes unilateral sanctions.

Guaido said Venezuela can achieve a peaceful transition from Maduro and eventually hold free elections, speaking in an interview with CNN that aired on Tuesday.

Major Latin American powers including Brazil have backed Guaido but Maduro still enjoys economic and political support of Russian Federation and China.

The UN spokesman Rupert Colville said on Tuesday that 696 people were detained on 23 January alone.

PDSVA is the acronym for the state-owned oil company.

Analysts at RBC Capital Markets say Mexico and Iraq are instead most likely to benefit in the race to replace Venezuela heavy crude that is imported for processing at refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

"There will probably be problems". The move is consistent with the Trump administration's efforts to starve Maduro of oil money, while still blunting the potential impact on USA refiners and US motorists, said Jim Lucier, managing director of Washington, D.C. -based Capital Alpha Partners. "It is hard, impossible to give a different assessment".

But Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said the Trump administration should brief Congress on its moves against Maduro.

Transferring authority over US -based accounts to Guaido "will help Venezuela's legitimate government safeguard those assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people", Palladino said in his announcement.

The company's subsidiary, Citgo, which is based in the United States, is allowed to continue operations, but its earnings must be placed in a blocked account.



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