Surprise arrival of Russian Federation plane to Venezuela fuels intrigue

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announce economic sanctions against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state owned oil company

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announce economic sanctions against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state owned oil company

Bogota and Washington both have routinely denied the accusation; however, speculation of military action against Maduro was fueled this week when US national security adviser John Bolton carried a notepad with the words "5,000 troops to Colombia" when announcing sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company on Monday.

On January 23, he declared himself the country's acting president and vowed to lead a transitional government that would hold democratic elections.

Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader who proclaimed himself interim president last week with U.S. backing, and who is supported by most Western countries, says Maduro stole his re-election and must resign to allow new, fair polls.

The country's production has dropped in recent years to about 1.4 million barrels a day because of economic mismanagement and lack of investment.

Al-Hakim said: "We are conducting limited air and land operations in coordination with the Syrian side".

"Together with other responsible members of the world community, we will do everything to support the legal government of President Maduro in standing up for the Venezuelan Constitution", Lavrov said.

Trump's early Wednesday morning tweet referred to Maduro's offer to hold talks with the country's opposition forces and hold early legislative elections.

Reporters noticed during the news conference Bolton was holding a notepad, on which he had written "5,000 troops to Colombia" - fuelling speculation that Washington is mulling military intervention in the region.




In Geneva, senior US and Venezuelan diplomats traded jibes at a disarmament conference. Trump and other administration officials have repeatedly said "all options" are under consideration as they seek to pressure Maduro to give up power. In 2017, Maduro announced he was suspending payment on Venezuelan debt.

"But a market overwhelmed by concerns over demand growth and chances of global oversupply appears reluctant to price that in ahead of time", she added, citing also renewed optimism over the US-China trade talks as an added boon for oil prices. Over the years, Russian Federation has launched dozens of new oil wells. The announcement raised the travel advisory to its highest level, putting Venezuela on a no-travel list that also includes Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan.

Oil firms that had sent tankers to Venezuela to lift crude bound for the United States were ordered by PDVSA on Monday to pay for cargoes before departure, sources told Reuters.

In 2017, the most recent year that data were available, Venezuela accounted for about 6 percent of USA crude imports. "More importantly, Canada does not have much of a footprint at key refiners of Venezuelan crudes".

The remarks came just hours after the USA announced penalties aimed at ousting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by strangling the country's crude exports.

The Kremlin on Tuesday condemned new US sanctions against Venezuela's vital oil sector as illegal interference in the OPEC member's affairs.

"The main risks for supply could come from a violent confrontation within the country, damaging the oil infrastructure", analyst Carsten Menke at Julius Baer said. That's because Venezuela's oil shipments to China and Russian Federation are usually taken as repayment for billions of dollars in debts.

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