Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro Vows Legal Action Against US Over Oil Sanctions

Venezuela's Guaido expresses concern over Greek position | News

Venezuela's Guaido expresses concern over Greek position | News

The US announced sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company, aiming to increase pressure on Mr Maduro to leave office.

The President of Venezuela's opposition-dominated National Assembly Juan Guaido will announce new boards of directors for state oil company PDVSA and its USA business, Citgo, UPI reports, citing a statement from the opposition leader.

They are also aimed at boosting Maduro's rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the administration recognized last week as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

The Trump administration warned of "serious consequences" after Venezuela's government moved to freeze the bank accounts of self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido on Tuesday, while state-run oil company PDVSA sought to sidestep US sanctions.

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

Venezuela has sunk into economic and political turmoil under Maduro's socialist government, with inflation seen rising to 10 million percent this year.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday certified that Guaido has authority to take control of bank accounts that Venezuela's government has in the Federal Reserve Bank of NY or any other U.S. -insured banks.

"We will provide the reciprocal and convincing response needed to defend Venezuela's interests in due time", Maduro said.

The sanctions do not prohibit deals between PDVSA and major U.S. oil companies operating in Venezuela, including Chevron, Halliburton Co and Schlumberger NV.

Until now, President Donald Trump had held off on targeting Venezuela's vital oil sector.

Rosneft, Russia's biggest oil producer, operates in Venezuela and has issued loans to PDVSA, backed by oil supplies.

The Kremlin condemned the sanctions as illegal interference, while China said they would lead to suffering for which Washington would bear responsibility.

Storchak said Venezuela owes Russian Federation $3bn, with repayments twice a year of around $100m.

It does, however, prevent USA firms from exporting certain oil products Venezuela needs to blend with its own crude for sale elsewhere.

Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. Transport costs would also jump because Venezuela's ports are not well-equipped to load supertankers for transporting oil to such distant markets.

Martinez said, "As Venezuelan soldiers, we are making a request to the support us, in logistical terms, with communication, with weapons, so we can realize Venezuelan freedom".

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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