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US historic and continuous involvement in Venezuela before and after Hugo Chavez.

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    Exclusive: Venezuela skirts U.S. sanctions by funneling oil sales via Russia

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro is funneling cashflow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade U.S. sanctions designed to oust him from power, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters.
    The sales are the latest sign of the growing dependence of Venezuela’s cash-strapped government on Russia as the United States tightens a financial noose around Maduro, who it describes as a dictator.
    With its economy reeling from years of recession and a sharp decline in oil production, Venezuela was already struggling to finance imports and government spending before Washington imposed tough restrictions on state oil company PDVSA in January.
    Oil accounts for more than 90 percent of exports from the OPEC nation and the lion’s share of government revenues. Maduro has accused U.S. President Donald Trump of waging economic war against Venezuela.
    Since January, Maduro’s administration has been in talks with allies in Moscow about ways to circumvent a ban on clients paying PDVSA in dollars, the sources said. Russia has publicly said the U.S. sanctions are illegal and it would work with Venezuela to weather them.
    Under the scheme uncovered by Reuters, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has started passing invoices from its oil sales to Rosneft.
    The Russian energy giant pays PDVSA immediately at a discount to the sale price – avoiding the usual 30-to-90 day timeframe for completing oil transactions – and collects the full amount later from the buyer, according to the documents and sources.
    Major energy companies such as India’s Reliance Industries Ltd - PDVSA’s largest cash-paying client - have been asked to participate in the scheme by paying Rosneft for Venezuelan oil, the documents show.
    Rosneft, which has heavily invested in Venezuela under President Vladimir Putin, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Venezuela’s oil ministry, its information ministry - which handles media for the government - and PDVSA did not respond to questions.
    Russia has loaned Venezuela almost $16 billion since 2006, which is being repaid in oil shipments, and has also taken significant stakes in petroleum projects, meaning it already controls a large slice of the South American country’s production.
    PDVSA’s unusual payment agreement with Rosneft is part of a series of schemes by Maduro’s government to gain access to cash, including selling Central Bank gold reserves. The schemes have frustrated Washington officials, who have in recent days questioned why sanctions have not had a more dramatic impact on Venezuela’s finances.
    “PDVSA is delivering its accounts receivable to Rosneft,” said a source at the Venezuelan state firm with knowledge of the deals, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
    “The cash ends up in Russian banks or is used for settling pending payments such as marine services or freight so that oil exports are not interrupted.”
    The sources said some of the money was flowing via Russian-Venezuelan bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank, which was placed under U.S. sanctions last month. A spokesperson for Evrofinance denied such transactions had passed through the bank.
    It was not immediately clear exactly how much of Venezuela’s oil exports of around 900,000 barrels per day was being paid for using the sale of PDVSA’s accounts receivable, because deals are being arranged on a case-by-case basis, sources said.
    An internal PDVSA document reviewed by Reuters, however, indicated shipments in April to Reliance - owner of the world’s biggest refining complex – would be settled via Rosneft.
    Reliance imported 390,500 barrels per day of Venezuelan crude in March, equivalent to almost 40 percent of Venezuela’s exports that month, according to shipping data compiled by Reuters.
    The internal document showed that PDVSA and Reliance would pay a fee equivalent to around 3 percent of the sale price, split between them. Rosneft’s fees are negotiated on a case by case basis, the sources said.
    Industry sources familiar with the matter said the Reliance transactions were going ahead but some banks were reluctant to provide financing for the purchases as the invoices stated that the oil came from Venezuela.
    Srikanth Venkatachari, Reliance’s joint chief financial officer, told reporters on Thursday it was buying Venezuelan oil via Russian and also Chinese companies. He did not provide further details.
    “We are in active dialogue with the U.S. Department of State on our dealings on Venezuelan oil to remain compliant with U.S. sanctions,” he said.
    A Reliance spokesman said the payments to Russian and Chinese companies were then deducted from the money owed to those countries by Venezuela.
    While most Western countries have joined Washington in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president, Russia - together with China and Cuba - has stood by Maduro, defending him at the United Nations and providing military assistance, angering Washington.
    Even before January’s sanctions, Venezuela’s oil exports had halved from 2.8 million bpd when the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor, launched his Socialist revolution two decades ago.
    Rosneft, run by close Putin ally Igor Sechin, has capitalized on the crisis to take an ever-bigger share of the oil industry in Venezuela, which sits on the world’s largest crude reserves.
    In February, Rosneft estimated the book value of stakes in Venezuelan projects at $2.11 billion.
    Now Rosneft is providing the cash to help keep PDVSA operational, using its large trading division to give it flexibility to collect payment for Venezuelan oil from clients.
    In one transaction, an executive from Rosneft’s Geneva unit offered to take a PDVSA invoice owed by trading firm BB Energy for the purchase of 525,000-barrels of fuel oil in January, according to an offer letter reviewed by Reuters.
    Rosneft paid a portion of the $26-million bill directly to PDVSA and started talks with BB Energy to collect payment in cash or by receiving an oil cargo, according to the letter and a PDVSA source.
    A spokesman for BB Energy said that under guidance from legal counsel the company had not yet made any payment for the cargo. He declined to provide further details.
    Some within PDVSA are concerned Rosneft’s trading arm now has been given too significant a role in decisions over cargo destinations in order to facilitate payment to the Russian company, according to one source.

    They are also frustrated that Venezuela is paying a heavy premium to Rosneft for imported fuel - needed because of the poor condition of domestic refineries - because only a handful of sellers were willing to skirt U.S. sanctions.
    “Rosneft is buying our oil for cheap and selling us very expensive fuel in exchange,” the source said. “We always owe them money.”
     
    HannaTheCrusader

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    The world is silent at the U.S. arming this terrorist and his mercenaries to overthrow a regime that will not bend to U.S. hegemony in yet another oil rich country. I hope Putin can pull off another Syria here and out manoeuvre the U.S.
    chavez had years ruling that nations
    he had unfetter 100 of billions.wasted on god knows what
    yet he pauperized them
    same for madoro
    for over 3 years he sold billions i pil

    nothing to show for

    time they go
     
    Dynamite Joe

    Dynamite Joe

    Well-Known Member
    chavez had years ruling that nations
    he had unfetter 100 of billions.wasted on god knows what
    yet he pauperized them
    same for madoro
    for over 3 years he sold billions i pil

    nothing to show for

    time they go
    Chavez was a good president, he just picked on the bully. The economic and political woes of venezuela are largely due to U.S. meddling and sanctions. It's not just what is disclosed by the U.S. government and media, but the dirty work being done behind the scenes by the CIA and State Department that is undermining venezuela in every way, at every turn.

    It's not an accident that every country with a strategic importance which opposes the U.S. ends up a hellhole. Maduro is not perfect, but most of the problems in Venezuela are not of his own making, but imposed from the outside. Not sure why you would be outraged with Maduro's alleged corruption and not with the colonial policies of the U.S. that plunder the resources of the world. I would simply say your concern is misplaced.
     
    HannaTheCrusader

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    The world is silent at the U.S. arming this terrorist and his mercenaries to overthrow a regime that will not bend to U.S. hegemony in yet another oil rich country. I hope Putin can pull off another Syria here and out manoeuvre the U.S.

    i bet you prefer this

    s, Venezuela’s oil exports had halved from 2.8 million bpd when the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor, launched his Socialist revolution two decades ago.

    Russia has loaned Venezuela almost $16 billion since 2006, which is being repaid in oil shipments, and has also taken significant stakes in petroleum projects, meaning it already controls a large slice of the South American country’s production.
    PDVSA’s unusual payment agreement with Rosneft is part of a series of schemes by Maduro’s government to gain access to cash, including selling Central Bank gold reserves. The schemes have frustrated Washington officials, who have in recent days questioned why sanctions have not had a more dramatic impact on Venezuela’s finances.


    16 bil loaned, spent on what ?????? no one knows
    plus the billions of pilsales
    and people before guadio, were hungry and poor

    long live communism
     
    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    Legendary Member
    i bet you prefer this

    s, Venezuela’s oil exports had halved from 2.8 million bpd when the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor, launched his Socialist revolution two decades ago.

    Russia has loaned Venezuela almost $16 billion since 2006, which is being repaid in oil shipments, and has also taken significant stakes in petroleum projects, meaning it already controls a large slice of the South American country’s production.
    PDVSA’s unusual payment agreement with Rosneft is part of a series of schemes by Maduro’s government to gain access to cash, including selling Central Bank gold reserves. The schemes have frustrated Washington officials, who have in recent days questioned why sanctions have not had a more dramatic impact on Venezuela’s finances.


    16 bil loaned, spent on what ?????? no one knows
    plus the billions of pilsales
    and people before guadio, were hungry and poor

    long live communism
    It may come to many here as a surprise, but currently USA is the highest producer of oil, we even started exports.
     
    HannaTheCrusader

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Chavez was a good president, he just picked on the bully. The economic and political woes of venezuela are largely due to U.S. meddling and sanctions. It's not just what is disclosed by the U.S. government and media, but the dirty work being done behind the scenes by the CIA and State Department that is undermining venezuela in every way, at every turn.

    It's not an accident that every country with a strategic importance which opposes the U.S. ends up a hellhole. Maduro is not perfect, but most of the problems in Venezuela are not of his own making, but imposed from the outside. Not sure why you would be outraged with Maduro's alleged corruption and not with the colonial policies of the U.S. that plunder the resources of the world. I would simply say your concern is misplaced.
    not true

    usa sanctions were minimal on venezual under chavez and they even kept buying oil from venezuela till date

    SO WHAT BLOODY SANCTIONS , WHEN USA WERE BUYING OIL AND PAYING CASH....

    but his corrupt practices pauperized the nation
    he single handedly halved oil production due to his socialists wet dreams
     
    Dynamite Joe

    Dynamite Joe

    Well-Known Member
    i bet you prefer this

    s, Venezuela’s oil exports had halved from 2.8 million bpd when the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor, launched his Socialist revolution two decades ago.

    Russia has loaned Venezuela almost $16 billion since 2006, which is being repaid in oil shipments, and has also taken significant stakes in petroleum projects, meaning it already controls a large slice of the South American country’s production.
    PDVSA’s unusual payment agreement with Rosneft is part of a series of schemes by Maduro’s government to gain access to cash, including selling Central Bank gold reserves. The schemes have frustrated Washington officials, who have in recent days questioned why sanctions have not had a more dramatic impact on Venezuela’s finances.


    16 bil loaned, spent on what ?????? no one knows
    plus the billions of pilsales
    and people before guadio, were hungry and poor

    long live communism
    In other words, U.S. is trying to > Russia as they did in Libya to China and others by installing a puppet government. I specifically said, it's not just sanctions, but cowboy diplomacy and the dirty tactics behind the scenes. The proof of which you see now in a militant opposition bred by the U.S. The same old story as in the Iran-contras, just now the meddling is more sophisticated and concealed by mainstream media, while the rest of the world can do little to stop it if not supportive of this subversion. That is at least one would hope with the exception of Russia and China.
     
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    Venezuelan coup attempt ‘directly planned in Washington’ – FM

    The Venezuelan foreign minister has accused the US-backed opposition of planning Tuesday’s coup attempt in Washington, and said the government would work to keep the peace.
    Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told Reuters by telephone that only around 30 soldiers had supported the coup instigated by opposition leader Juan Guaido. He described the plot as “another chapter” of an American effort to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
    While downplaying the scale of the uprising, Arreaza said it did not originate within the military, but that opposition leaders planned the event in Washington.
    "It is not a coup attempt from the military. This is directly planned in Washington, in the Pentagon and Department of State, and by [National Security Adviser John] Bolton," Arreaza told Reuters.
    "They are leading this coup and giving orders to this man Guaido," he said.
     
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    Exclusive - Blackwater founder’s latest sales pitch: mercenaries for Venezuela

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince - the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater and a prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump - has been pushing a plan to deploy a private army to help topple Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, four sources with knowledge of the effort told Reuters.
    Over the last several months, the sources said, Prince has sought investment and political support for such an operation from influential Trump supporters and wealthy Venezuelan exiles. In private meetings in the United States and Europe, Prince sketched out a plan to field up to 5,000 soldiers-for-hire on behalf of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, according to two sources with direct knowledge of Prince’s pitch.

    One source said Prince has conducted meetings about the issue as recently as mid-April.

    White House National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis declined to comment when asked whether Prince had proposed his plan to the government and whether it would be considered. A person familiar with the administration’s thinking said the White House would not support such a plan.

    Venezuela opposition officials have not discussed security operations with Prince, said Guaido spokesman Edward Rodriguez, who did not answer additional questions from Reuters. The Maduro government did not respond to a request for comment.

    Some U.S. and Venezuelan security experts, told of the plan by Reuters, called it politically far-fetched and potentially dangerous because it could set off a civil war. A Venezuelan exile close to the opposition agreed but said private contractors might prove useful, in the event Maduro’s government collapses, by providing security for a new administration in the aftermath.
    A spokesman for Prince, Marc Cohen, said this month that Prince “has no plans to operate or implement an operation in Venezuela” and declined to answer further questions.

    Lital Leshem - the director of investor relations at Prince’s private equity firm, Frontier Resource Group - earlier confirmed Prince’s interest in Venezuela security operations.

    “He does have a solution for Venezuela, just as he has a solution for many other places,” she said, declining to elaborate on his proposal.

    The two sources with direct knowledge of Prince’s pitch said it calls for starting with intelligence operations and later deploying 4,000 to 5,000 soldiers-for-hire from Colombia and other Latin American nations to conduct combat and stabilization operations.
    ‘DYNAMIC EVENT’
    For Prince, the unlikely gambit represents the latest effort in a long campaign to privatize warfare. The wealthy son of an auto-parts tycoon has fielded private security contractors in conflict zones from Central Asia to Africa to the Middle East.

    One of Prince’s key arguments, one source said, is that Venezuela needs what Prince calls a “dynamic event” to break the stalemate that has existed since January, when Guaido - the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly - declared Maduro’s 2018 re-election illegitimate and invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency.

    Maduro has denounced Guaido, who has been backed by most western nations, as a U.S. puppet who is seeking to foment a coup. Key government institutions – including the military – have not shifted their loyalty to Guaido despite increasing international pressure from sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.

    Guaido has stressed that he wants a peaceful resolution, and Latin American governments recognizing his authority have urged against outside military action. Senior U.S. officials, without ruling out armed intervention, have also emphasized economic and diplomatic measures to pressure Maduro.

    CLOSE TIES TO TRUMP
    Prince was a pioneer in private military contracting during the Iraq war, when the U.S. government hired Blackwater primarily to provide security for State Department operations there.

    In 2007, Blackwater employees shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians at Nisour Square in Baghdad, sparking international outrage. One of the Blackwater employees involved was convicted of murder in December and three others have been convicted of manslaughter.
    Prince renamed the Blackwater security company and sold it in 2010, but he recently opened a company called Blackwater USA, which sells ammunition, silencers and knives. Over the past two years, he has led an unsuccessful campaign to convince the Trump administration to replace U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan with security contractors.

    Since 2014, Prince has run the Hong Kong-based Frontier Services Group, which has close ties to the state-owned Chinese investment company CITIC and helps Chinese firms operating in Africa with security, aviation and logistics services.

    Prince donated $100,000 to a political action committee that supported Trump’s election. His sister, Betsy DeVos, is the administration’s education secretary.

    Prince’s role in Trump’s campaign was highlighted in the report by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, released this month, on alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

    The report outlined how Prince financed an effort to authenticate purported Hillary Clinton emails and how in 2016 he met in the Seychelles islands, off east Africa, with a wealthy Russian financial official on behalf of Trump’s presidential transition team.

    Prince spokesman Cohen declined to comment on the Mueller report.


    TARGETING FROZEN ASSETS
    The two sources with direct knowledge of Prince’s Venezuela plan said he is seeking $40 million from private investors. He also aims to get funding from the billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets that have been seized by governments around the world imposing sanctions on the OPEC nation, a major oil exporter.

    It’s unclear, however, how the Venezuelan opposition could legally access those assets. Prince told people in pitch meetings, the sources said, that he believes that Guaido has the authority to form his own military force because he has been recognized internationally as Venezuela’s rightful leader.

    Prince envisions a force made up of “Peruvians, Ecuadoreans, Colombians, Spanish speakers,” one of the sources said, adding that Prince argued that such soldiers would be more politically palatable than American contractors.
     
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    ‘Hint of desperation’: Guaido called for coup after popular mobilization flopped, analyst tells RT

    Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido resorted to calls for a military uprising after his plot to bring about a ‘color revolution’ lost steam and failed to achieve regime change, political analyst Chris Bambery told RT.
    Guaido’s recent moves show that he has “let the dynamic slip” and “lost momentum” since he challenged Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro as a self-declared interim president in January, Bambery said. They also indicate that the opposition chief’s “popular mobilization has come and gone,” he added.
    There a hint of desperation [in Juan Guaido’s actions]. His attempt to stage a color-coded revolution has not succeeded, so he’s reduced to trying to instigate a military coup.
    The analyst believes that a coup to oust Maduro was the scenario preferred by Guaido’s backers in the US who tried to sow dissent within the army.
    The opposition leader earlier claimed to have met with “the key units” of the Venezuelan Army. In a video address filmed near an airbase in Caracas on Tuesday, he called on the army to “end the usurpation” by the Maduro government. It was followed by clashes in the capital, as police used tear gas against protesters.
    Venezuelan officials denounced the “coup attempt,” with the defense minister saying the incident was isolated and that army units across the country remained loyal to their commanders. The army is “central” to the Maduro government staying in power, Bambery said.
    There are undoubtedly differences within the army. But, thus far, it seems that the army has stayed with Maduro.
     
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