US imposes sanctions on Venezuelan oil company

Sanctions have started and the future seems challenging to Venezuela. The pressure is on President Nicolas Maduro to cede power and consider opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate head of the country.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said Monday sanctions will be imposed on Petroleos De Venezuela SA (PDVSA). It is expected to block its $7bn in assets and as an aftermath the company is to lose $11bn export revenue over the next year.

PDVSA will not be allowed to collect proceeds of oil exported to customers in United States and its assets, including US-based subsidiary Citgo, will be freezed too.

Maduro responded calling the sanctions as criminal and accused US of robbing the country’s oil riches. He vowed to take action against the move.

In a televised statement he added, “I have given specific instructions to the head of PDVSA to launch political and legal action, in US and international courts, to defend the property and assets of Citgo.”

Oil is the largest source of revenue for Venezuela and 41 percent of it is exported to US. The state-owned oil company is controlled by Venezuelan military and this is the reason Washington wants to hold back the money from Maduro’s government and transfer to Guaido.

Maduro has long accused Washington of waging economic war that is focused mainly in removing him from power.

Venezuela was earlier a prosperous country, but lately its economy has collapsed and millions of people have fled to neighboring countries.

Paul Linus