US adversaries China and Russia continue to fuel Venezuela’s criminal regimeThe Floridian
China, Russia and Iran, three of the main adversaries of the United States, are expanding their presence and strengthening their ties with rogue governments like that of dictator Nicolas Maduro.
Just last week, Venezuela and Iran deepened their cooperation by signing an agreement to swap Venezuela’s heavy oil for Iranian condensate, which it can use to improve the quality of its tar-type crude. The first Iranian shipments have already arrived in Venezuela.
The deal raises eyebrows and concerns as Iranian thinner shipments could help provide Maduro with a financial lifeline as he negotiates with the Venezuelan opposition ahead of the election.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz (right) told Texas Politics he believes Maduro will “do anything to stay in power,” including teaming up with American adversaries like China and Russia to strip all assets energy companies remaining in Venezuela if allowed to do so.
“Maduro’s regime is oppressive and totalitarian and will do everything to stay in power, and it has demonstrated its willingness to commit murders, to engage in torture, to engage in theft and expropriation of property,” said said Senator Cruz. “There’s a reason Maduro is a global outcast. His regime is an illegitimate totalitarian regime.
Recently, one of Venezuela’s aforementioned “buddies”, China, helped Venezuela crack down on human rights in that country by employing internet blocking tactics to suppress the Venezuelan people.
These same tactics were also implemented during the recent protests in Communist Cuba, another of China’s ally.
In June this year, a report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association to the United Nations Human Rights Council noted that the Venezuelan government has restricted access to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in the context of the protests. The Freedom of the Net report published by Freedom House considers that Venezuela “is not free”.
China and Iran have been helping Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA bypass US sanctions for some time now, with China becoming the main recipient and importer of cheap Venezuelan oil, estimated at over 60% of total exports. oil from Venezuela, according to Vortex’s Analytics.
Dependent on oil revenues to run their countries, Tehran and Caracas have since engaged in an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with Washington to continue exporting crude, employing numerous techniques to avoid detection, including ship transfers. to ship, shell and middleman companies that operate outside the U.S. financial arena, according to a July 22 Reuters survey (include link).
Reuters also reported that China Concord Petroleum Co (CCPC) has played a leading role over the past year, quickly becoming an important partner for Caracas, chartering vessels in April and May carrying more than 20% of total exports from oil from Venezuela during or almost this period. $ 445 million gross. In the past year, CCPC has acquired at least 14 tankers to transport oil from Iran or Venezuela to China, sources told Reuters.
Senator Rubio told the Floridian that the United States must toughen existing sanctions or impose more economic burdens on “individuals and companies linked to Maduro’s narco-regime, and stressed that Maduro’s” friends “like China and Russia should be held accountable for helping Maduro “get around the sanctions.”
“We need to follow the individuals and businesses linked to Maduro’s drug regime and hold them accountable. As Maduro and his cronies seek to circumvent sanctions, the United States and its allies must work together and coordinate their efforts to hold regime enablers to account, ”said Senator Rubio.
Julia Friedlander, a former senior US Treasury sanctions official, told Reuters that the growing blacklisted oil trade shows how much the opponents are improving when it comes to evasion.
“This shows that there are limits to what US sanctions can do, especially when you target multiple like-minded or selectively like-minded actors, like oil traders. So you encourage these alternative axes of resilience, ”said Friedlander, who is now a senior researcher at the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center.
As Maduro and his entourage extend their excessive hold on power with the help of American adversaries by violating sanctions and engaging in other illicit and criminal activities, the humanitarian calamity facing the Venezuelan people continues to unfold. intensify. The Organization of American States (OAS) Working Group on the Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Crisis in the Region, recently released a report warning that while borders are reopened and the crisis in the country worsens , the exodus of Venezuelans could reach seven million people in the first quarter of 2022, making it the largest in the world, higher than that of Syria.
On Monday, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez announced in a televised address that Venezuela would reopen its border with Colombia on Tuesday, after a nearly three-year closure due to political tensions. This could very well propel the numbers of Venezuelan refugees.
US Senate Senator Marco Rubio (R) recently tabled a bipartisan resolution with Senator Bob Menendez (D) to help protect and support women and children facing the terrible humanitarian catastrophe in Venezuela.
“The human cost of the humanitarian debacle of the Maduro narco-regime has displaced 6 million Venezuelans around the world,” Senator Rubio said in a press release. “The nations responsible for our region continue to lend a hand as Venezuelan migrants and refugees flee the trials of tyranny and oppression. I am proud to join my colleagues in the Senate in bringing forward this resolution, which calls for support in efforts to protect the women and girls fleeing this man-made crisis.