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  • Gas station with a sign reading, 'There is no gasoline', Venezuela, May 23, 2020.

    Gas station with a sign reading, 'There is no gasoline', Venezuela, May 23, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @JohnnyLopezJ

Published 23 May 2020
Opinion

The United States prevents this South American country from importing chemical additives, supplies, and spare parts necessary for the refining of its oil.

Venezuela’s government has repeatedly denounced the consequences of the illegal coercive measures imposed by the United States against the Bolivarian people. These unilateral actions have threatened fuel supply in this South American country.

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In April 2019, the illegal appropriation of the Citgo refinery, a subsidiary of the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), was denounced by President Nicolas Maduro, who assured that the US and their Venezuelan opposition accomplices owe this company US$1.3 billion.

Citgo was the main oil refining and trading company for gasoline, lubricants, and petrochemicals that Venezuela had abroad. Its assets worth US$7 billion were frozen by President Donald Trump's administration in January 2019.

Also, the illegal traffic of fuel across the border has affected fuel supply in the Venezuelan domestic market and has caused considerable economic losses to the country. The Bolivarian government has confronted these events through legal actions.

The U.S. interference explains shortages

  • Venezuela cannot import chemical additives, supplies, and spare parts necessary for the refining of its oil, which the American Petroleum Institute classified as an extra-heavy oil.
  • Venezuela cannot purchase US-made replacement parts to upgrade its refineries.
  • Tarek El AissamiOil trade flows have been affected because the United States prevents Venezuela from negotiating with suppliers from other countries.
  • The Trump administration persecutes any company that wants to support Venezuela and its oil industry.
  • Washington ordered to block Venezuelan payments of the cabotage service for the transportation of fuel, which has also caused difficulties in the supply of this product.

The Bolivarian government works to solve the problems

Venezuela’s Oil Minister Tarek El Aissami assured that the oil industry workers, together with the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), work tirelessly “to restore in a short time possible the regular fuel supply for the whole country”.

On April 5, authorities implemented a special fuel distribution plan to guarantee the mobility of priority sectors during the quarantine.

In this context, the US attacks against the Bolivarian revolution are "serious violations of the human rights of the Venezuelan people" and become "crimes against humanity contrary to international law and the United Nations," El Aissami stressed.

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