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US Sanctions Shoot Blanks at Venezuela's Government

Written by Subject: Venezuela

US Sanctions Shoot Blanks at Venezuela's Government

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)

Sanctions harm ordinary people in targeted countries. They don't topple governments - not against Cuba for nearly 60 years, Iran for 40, Venezuela for 20.

Nor have they worked against Syria, North Korea, Russia, China, or other countries. Yet for Republicans and undemocratic Dems, it's their main weapon of choice in waging war by other means, ignoring their illegality. 

Media disseminated propaganda accompanies them, notably when the US goes to war and in their run-up. When used, it's a notorious weapon of mass deception - disinformation, Big Lies and fake news drowning out hard truths.

Multiple rounds of Trump regime sanctions on Venezuela failed to achieve their objectives. In cooperation with Russia, Maduro circumvents ones targeting the country's oil exports.

On Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said "(w)e are concerned over the continuing actions by the United States toward the countries of the Latin American region. We see the sanctions as absolutely unlawful and illegitimate." 

"We will oppose them. Venezuela and Cuba are our allies and strategic partners in the region. We will do everything we can to let them feel our support."

According to Reuters on Thursday, "Venezuela (is) skirt(ing) US sanctions by funneling oil sales via Russia," adding:

"…Maduro is funneling cashflow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade US sanctions designed to oust him from power, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters."

Oil is Venezuela's main export, accounting for most government revenues. Weeks earlier, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow will defend its interests in Venezuela with "all mechanisms available to us."

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he and Maduro's Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo discussed ways of increasing Venezuelan oil exports by circumventing (illegal) US sanctions.

State oil company PDVSA's Lisbon office was transferred to Moscow. Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said "we will continue strengthening our relations with Russia. We will expand our trade opportunities and launch new mechanisms. President Nicolas Maduro has given clear instructions. We will purchase products and medicines that our people need from Russia."

Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said the company "and other Russian organizations partaking in the Russian-Venezuelan military-technical cooperation, remain committed to deepening partnership with the defense ministry and other government bodies of Venezuela."

Russian/Bolivarian Republic ties began in 2001, deepening over the years, both countries cooperating with each other politically, economically, financially, and in trade relations.

Commenting on bilateral ties, Russian minister counselor at its embassy in Caracas, Alexey Seredin, said relations "between (both countries) are excellent. At the moment, we are working to strengthen cooperation."

According to Reuters, "Russian energy giant (Rosneft)  pays PDVSA immediately at a discount to the sale price – avoiding the usual 30-to-90 day timeframe for completing oil transactions – and collects the full amount later from the buyer, according to the documents and sources," adding:

"Major energy companies such as India's Reliance Industries Ltd - PDVSA's largest cash-paying client - have been asked to participate in the (arrangement) by paying Rosneft for Venezuelan oil, the documents show."

Help by Russia to circumvent illegal US sanctions "frustrated (Trump regime) officials." Three months of war by other means against Venezuela failed to achieve their objectives.

" 'PDVSA is delivering its accounts receivable to Rosneft,' " said a source at the Venezuelan state firm with knowledge of the deals," said Reuters, adding:

"The cash ends up in Russian banks or is used for settling pending payments such as marine services or freight so that oil exports are not interrupted."

Last month, Sergey Lavrov said "Russia will continue to assist the Venezuelan authorities in solving social and economic problems, in particular through the provision of legitimate humanitarian assistance," adding:

"We believe that the best way to help Venezuelans is to expand practical, pragmatic mutually beneficial interaction." 

"In this context, we have outlined steps that are aimed at strengthening trade, investment, industrial, financial ties in order to develop the agreements that were reached by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Nicolas Maduro in December last year in Moscow."

In her latest weekly briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed Trump regime violations of the UN Charter in tactics used against Venezuela.

"We are hearing about the possibility of the use of force against Venezuela more often every day," she said. "This is being done with a different tone and reasoning."

Senior Trump regime officials "are not only demanding that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro leave his legitimate post, but they want him to step down before the end of the year. They are threatening to use force if he fails to accept this ultimatum."

Zakharova slammed John Bolton's remarks about the need to curb legitimate Russian influence in Venezuela. "This sounds like a joke," she said, adding:

"We deal with the legitimate authorities in Venezuela whereas the (Trump regime) deals with impostors…those who pretend to be what they aren't and who assume functions and authority that nobody has given them by law." 

"After all that, we hear about interfering in Venezuela's affairs without the consent of its government. This is a joke."

Russia engages with other countries cooperatively. The US pressures, bullies, threatens, bribes, and attacks them to subordinate their sovereignty to its interests.

Nations maintaining and defending their sovereign independence are targeted for regime change - by naked aggression, color revolutions, or old-fashioned coups like what's going on unsuccessfully against the Bolivarian Republic.

Trump regime hardliners continue saying "all options on Venezuela are on the table despite the position of Latin American and Caribbean countries that have continuously stated that a military invasion of Venezuela or the threat of invasion are unacceptable," said Zakharova.

The US threatens peace, stability, and security in Venezuela and everywhere else. Its rage for global dominance by whatever it takes to achieve its objectives threatens everyone everywhere.

Zakharova saying "(w)e strongly call on our American colleagues (sic) to give up these irresponsible plans that run counter to international law" falls on deaf ears in Washington.

Maduro welcomes legitimate humanitarian aid, what Russia, China, and other countries are providing. He rejects phony Trump regime intervention, masquerading as aid, aimed solely at furthering its plot to topple Maduro and eliminate Venezuelan social democracy.

Zakharova advised legitimate friends of Venezuela that wish to deliver humanitarian aid in conformity with UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182 to contact Bolivarian authorities in Caracas.

They'll facilitate genuine aid "via specialized international entities" like the UN and ICRC, Zakharova explained, adding:

"The best way to help the Venezuelan people is to lift the illegitimate unilateral sanctions that primarily hurt common people." 

"Stop threatening them with war and let them engage in the improvement of their country without problems. Give them back the money that you stole from the Venezuelan people."

"Return the money to the Venezuelans and they will buy all they need – food, medicines and the basic necessities. They will do this themselves. What could be easier?"

"We will monitor the situation and, if necessary, take active diplomatic steps in full compliance with international law and in cooperation with the legitimate Venezuelan government in order to help settle the situation there."

Among major powers, Russia is the world's leading proponent of peace, stability, democratic values, and rule of law observance.

The US is the world's main belligerent, operating extrajudicially at home and abroad.

It seeks dominion over planet earth, its resources and population - endless wars and other hostile actions its main strategy of forcing its will on other nations.

Do Trump regime hardliners intend quitting after three months of failure in Venezuela? 

Not a chance - why committed Russian support is crucial as long as they keep trying to topple Maduro, and most like will keep at it as long as DLT remains in office.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

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