July 28, 2021

How Venezuela circumvents US oil sanctions

In May 2019, José Adolfo Murat and Joaquin Leal, two Mexican entrepreneurs, went to Caracas. On the program of their visit: discussions with the Venezuelan authorities. But the two men, specialists in the energy sector, have not made the trip to resolve the power cuts that the country suffers regularly. In reality, they participate in a series of meetings prior to the creation of a vast network. A mechanism which, according to an investigation by the Spanish daily The country and the independent Venezuelan media Armando. info, allowed Venezuela to “circumvent” US restrictions on its oil exports.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro believes that “the Empire has failed all along the line”

The existence of this network was initially revealed by these two media in July 2020. But a new investigation, published Sunday, June 13, gives more details on how the Venezuelan government came into contact with businessmen Mexicans, in order to set up a mechanism for the exchange of goods beyond the vigilance of the United States. In another publication, published Monday, June 14, the two media also claim that this program has developed with the approval of the government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, elected in 2018.

30 million barrels

The authors of the survey trace the birth of this system to the spring of 2019, a period during which Venezuela is going through a serious political and economic crisis. While the opponent Juan Guaido is trying to spark a social movement capable of overthrowing Chavist President Nicolas Maduro, in office since 2013, the country is failing to meet its basic food and medical needs.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Venezuelans protest against gasoline shortages

On April 28, 2019, an embargo on Venezuelan oil exports decided by US President Donald Trump comes into force: the state-owned company Petroleo de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) no longer has the right to export its oil to the American territory, nor to do business with a company connected with the United States. It was then that the Venezuelan government began negotiations with Mexican businessmen.

In June 2019, an agreement was reached between them and relatives of Nicolas Maduro. The contract contains many gray areas, in particular with regard to its financing, which amounts to 200 million euros. According to Venezuelan sources contacted by the two media at the origin of the revelation, these ambiguities are necessary to avoid sanctions for intermediaries: ” If they [les Etats-Unis] allowed us to play fair-play, things would be different ”, they say.

You have 44.91% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.