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  • Venezuela's Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo (C) arrives to attend the Petrotech conference in Greater Noida, India, Feb. 11, 2019.

    Venezuela's Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo (C) arrives to attend the Petrotech conference in Greater Noida, India, Feb. 11, 2019. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 15 February 2019

India refuses to subordinate itself to the U.S. strategy against Venezuela.

India's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, said Thursday that the country will keep on doing business with Venezuela on the basis of purely economic considerations, a statement which does not submit to the United States strategy to isolate the Bolivarian country. 

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"Venezuela is the chair of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum). We don't have any barter system with Venezuela; commercial considerations and related factors will determine the value of trade which we have with any country," Kumar said.

By ratifying the country's economic nexus with the Bolivarian Republic, India is not being intimidated by U.S. President Donald Trump administration's sanctions, which are aimed at blocking Venezuela access to the U.S. financial system, among other things.

Regarding the issue, the Venezuelan Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo commented that the restrictions imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department on the Venezuelan oil industry could cost at least US$20 billion. Currently, Venezuela exports 366,000 oil barrels per day to India and expects exports to double in the near future.

"Venezuela has all the oil that India needs," Quevedo said, anticipating that all payment methods are on the table.

"Evo Morales: We welcome India's decision to increase the purchase of oil to Venezuela, and its initiative to pay for it with products, before the sanctions of the United States. The Empire must understand that the world is multipolar and that it cannot subject other states to its whim."

India's government announcement comes after the U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton tried, while Quevedo was visiting India, to intimidate countries and companies into not buying Venezuelan oil.

"Nations and companies that support Maduro's theft of Venezuelan resources will not be forgotten. The United States will continue to use all of its powers to preserve the Venezuelan people's assets and we encourage all nations to work together to do the same," Bolton wrote on his Twitter page.

Minister Quevedo also recounted that the U.S. Government has been carrying out intimidation actions so that ships, shipping agencies, stockbrokers or other international companies do not conduct business involving Venezuelan oil, gold or other raw materials.

"They want to suspend the insurance coverage to anyone who speaks with Venezuela. They call to the shipowners and shipping companies so that they cannot either send products to Venezuela or look for them," Quevedo explained.

Regarding the political situation in Venezuela, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesman reassured that “we believe democracy, peace and security in Venezuela are of paramount importance for the progress and prosperity of the people of Venezuela. India and Venezuela enjoy close and cordial relations.”

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