A new round of escaltion is being observed on the international scene with two main hot points located in Venezuela and the Jammu and Kashmir region contested by India and Pakistan.
In Venezuela, Washington continues its attempts to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro and establish own Interim President Juan Guaido. Over the past few weeks, the US and its proxies have undertaken a wide range of efforts: from economic sanctions to direct provocations, like delivery of US “humanitarian aid”. However, so far, these efforts have appeared to be not enough to change the region. Therefore, the US is increasing diplomatic and sanction pressure on Venezuela. The country’s oil exports is one of the targeted fields.
In response to US embargo, Venezuela has shifted some crude exports from US refiners to India and Europe, according to the country’s oil minister and ship-tracking firms.
The US sanctions against state-run PDVSA, effective January 28, reduced Venezuela’s daily oil exports to the US to 149,000 barrels a day in February from 484,000 bpd in January. The US sanctions also led to the 10% decrease of Venezuela’s oil export in the period from December to January.
However, the Venezuelan government says that it is not going to reduce the oil production. According to the government, Venezuela’s oil export is 1,200,000 bpd. One of the reasons is the expansion of the export to India. In middle February, the Venezuelan oil minister declared that his country exports 300,000 bpd to India and is going to double this number.
In own turn, Washington has repeatedly threatened states, whih buy oil from Venezuela. The recent Indian-Pakistani escalation opens a window of opportunity for the US to impact the Indian-Venezuelan relations.
Nations and firms that support Maduro’s theft of Venezuelan resources will not be forgotten. The United States will continue to use all of its powers to preserve the Venezuelan people’s assets and we encourage all nations to work together to do the same. https://t.co/4MmHyjFY8K
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) February 12, 2019
In the current Pakistani-Indian escaltion, the Trump adminsitration has so far played a neutral role calling for the de-escalation of the sitaution. However, mainstream media outlets, many of them controlled by the Washington establishment, provide a picture of the conflict, which plays into the Indian hands. The all-out war between two nuclear powers are hardly interesting for any world power, including the US. However, the US may try to sell its soft media and diplomatic support to India in response to New Delhi decision to impose sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports.
If the conflict develops in this direction, the economic difficulties facing by the Maduro government will increase significantly. Therefore, Washington will get a fresh opportunity to promote its regime change agenda in Venezuela.
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