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The US-recognized interim president of Venezuela called on the country’s people to hold the “largest march in the history of Venezuela” to urge Nicolas Maduro to leave office as the country languishes in chaos.
“We call on all the people to join in the largest march in the history of Venezuela to demand the end to the usurpation so this tragedy can end,” Guaido said on Friday, according to Reuters.
The Venezuelan crisis has seen its oil industry reduced to a shadow of what it once was as the country’s oil production fell to new lows in March of 732,000 bpd—down from an average of 1.354 million bpd in 2018 and 1.911 million bpd in 2017, according to secondary sources provided by the latest edition of OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report.
Despite its reduced production levels, the country is experiencing a traffic jam offshore as US sanctions on the country stymie oil payments to the Latin American nation from would-be buyers, stranding already loaded cargo off the coast.
In addition to its oil industry woes, the country has suffered numerous blackouts in recent months—all while being managed by two opposing leaders in Maduro and Guaido. There are even two PDVSA boards—one for each party.
The US has steadily increased pressure on the troubled Latin nation, the latest round of which targeted Venezuela’s shipments to Cuba—an entrenched arrangement predating Maduro’s reign that provided Venezuela with much-needed skilled labor such as doctors and oil workers.
Guaido continues to try to wrest control of the country and its state-run oil company, and his National Assembly is expecting to vote on Monday on a $71 million interest payment on one of PDVSA’s bonds next week, Guaido’s appointed PDVSA board of directors announced today, according to Reuters. The payment would stave off potential creditors looking to get their due from PDVSA’s US-based refining arm, Citgo. The details of where that money would come from remains unknown.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.