Venezuela's Guaido warns military on blocked aid

Sergio Conner
February 11, 2019

Russia's Gazprombank said on Sunday that Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA opened accounts with the bank several years ago and has not opened any accounts recently.

"The report by Reuters agency does not correspond with reality".

Even after a first round of financial sanctions in 2017, PDVSA's joint ventures managed to maintain bank accounts in the United States and Europe to receive proceeds from oil sales.

Reuters reported on Saturday that PDVSA was telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Gazprombank.

Reuters said PDVSA's move follows new U.S. financial sanctions imposed on January 28 and aimed at blocking President Nicolas Maduro's access to Venezuela's oil revenue.

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Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido has accused those blocking the humanitarian aid to his country of committing genocide, warning that the stoppage is a crime against humanity. "But we stress that no new accounts were opened and are planned to be opened in the bank", the spokesman said.

The US has recognised Guaidó as the interim president.

United States special envoy for Venezuela Elliot Abrams wants to see Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro leave the country as he cedes power to a transitional government.

Tensions rose when opposition leader Guaido declared himself acting president on January 23, a move which was supported by the US and many European and Latin American countries. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

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