USA hands bank accounts to Venezuela's Guaido

Venezuela's Guaido expresses concern over Greek position | News

Analysts say a lack of export pipeline capacity means Canada will not be able to boost shipments to take advantage of US sanctions against Venezuela's national oil company, PDVSA.

Meanwhile, EU countries as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom have given Maduro an ultimatum, stating that they would recognize Guaido as interim president if snap presidential election were not announced in Venezuela within eight days.

The disputed president Nicolás Maduro is still clinging on to power and has broken diplomatic ties with the US government. More than eight out of ten Venezuelans also oppose USA sanctions on the country.

Maduro's inauguration sparked protests throughout Venezuela.

The UN spokesman Rupert Colville said on Tuesday that 696 people were detained on 23 January alone.

"Maduro has created an economic, political and humanitarian crisis".

The US, Canada, Australia and most of the OAS members have recognized Guaido as president, while Russia, China, Cuba and Bolivia have gone on the record in support of Maduro.

As a lawmaker who also heads the National Assembly, Guaidó has immunity from criminal investigation which can only be removed by a high court.

US military invention is seen in Washington as highly unlikely, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly said "all options are on the table" and notes Bolton held at a Monday briefing containing the words "5,000 troops to Colombia" have raised questions.

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The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela and PDVSA in 2017 that prevented Citgo from repatriating dividends to its parent company. Some 75 per cent of the country's cash-generating oil shipments go the United States, according to Barclays, but Mr Maduro retains the support of Russia, China, Turkey and Iran and is likely to divert shipments to them.

All oil tankers leaving Venezuelan ports would have to pay for crude before departing, he said.

The United States will issue temporary licenses to ensure US, Caribbean and European refineries that rely on Venezuelan crude can keep buying PDVSA oil but he said many had been taking steps to find other sources.

The sanctions, imposed on January 28, prohibit PDVSA from collecting proceeds from crude oil sales to USA refineries, adding to the pressure on Maduro. Brent crude futures surged 2.9% to $61.7 per barrel Tuesday morning on the news, while West Texas Intermediate futures rose 3.4% to $53.9 per barrel.

Venezuela was once a Latin American success story and has the world's largest oil reserves, but has been driven into the ground during years of hardline leftist rule.

Moscow is assessing the impact on Russian Federation of the sanctions and intends to use all legal mechanisms at its disposable to protect Russia's interests in Venezuela in light of the sanctions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

According to analysts briefed by Platts, whatever the outcome of Venezuela's political impasse, Rosneft won't be cut off from Venezuelan oil assets, as oil is pretty much the only hard-currency revenue the country can get.

"We've seen Venezuelan official and military personnel heeding this call", he added, citing the defection this weekend of the country's military attache to Washington.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said historical experience showed foreign interference "only makes situations more complicated".

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