Carcass & Call?
Late Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela is in deep crisis because of the US’ aggressive economic policies. The situation recently deteriorated as Juan Guaidó – head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, gathered international recognition after declaring himself interim president. With this move, he posed a serious threat to President Nicolás Maduro – the defender of Chávez’s Bolivarian Revolution.
As the Maduro government has decided to overcome the crisis with the help of friendly nations, Venezuelan envoys to different countries have become active. Speaking at an event in New Delhi, Venezuelan Ambassador to India Augusto Montiel recently said that the US wanted to destroy the Latin American country by waging a war. “They want to loot the oil,” he added.
President Nicolás Maduro
The envoy explained that Washington hit the export of Venezuelan oil hard by imposing economic sanction on the country. With the help of its Western allies, the Donald Trump administration is also trying to trigger a military coup in Venezuela by using Guaidó. According to the ambassador, the Opposition leader is a trained American agent! Montiel further alleged that the US tried to assassinate President Maduro in order to overthrow the legitimate government in Caracas. However, the people of Venezuela took to the streets to rally behind their president.
Meanwhile, the envoy thanked Russia, China, Mexico and Uruguay for trying to help the Venezuelan president in resolving the crisis through peaceful negotiation. At the same time, he admitted that Russia and China’s decision to back President Maduro might trigger a geopolitical showdown in Latin America.
So far, India has not joined the chorus of voices in the West, calling for recognising Guaidó. The South Asian nation has not referred to the government of Venezuela either, but requested the “people” of Venezuela to find a political solution through dialogue as soon as possible. Last week, Raveesh Kumar – the senior spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs – said in a statement: “We are of the view that it is for the people of Venezuela to find political solutions to resolve their differences through constructive dialogue and discussion without resorting to violence. We believe democracy, peace and security in Venezuela are of paramount importance for the progress and prosperity of the people of Venezuela. India and Venezuela enjoy close and cordial relations.”
It is to be noted that India is Venezuela’s third largest buyer (after the US and China) of crude oil. On the other hand, Venezuela is the fourth largest oil supplier (after Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran) for the Indian market.
Venezuelan ambassador to India Augusto Montiel at a press conference in Delhi on February 5
Caracas knows that New Delhi and Beijing can rescue the Venezuelan economy, as India and China are the biggest markets for Venezuelan crude (despite the fact that oil production has gone down substantially). Experts are of the opinion that the Indian private refiners could benefit from the diversion of Venezuelan crude towards the subcontinent. That’s why Monteil assured India that his country would continue to supply 400,000 barrels of oil per day to its friend. “India’s energy security is being guaranteed by Venezuela even in these hard times,” stressed the envoy.
Although Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said in May 2018 that New Delhi wouldn’t implement US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, it’s interesting to see whether the energy hungry South Asian nation keeps its word.
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