Venezuela’s Guaido seeks humanitarian aid for OPEC nation

admin   •   February 6, 2019   •   1851

Venezuelan opposition Leader Juan Guaido | Reuters

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido and opposition lawmakers on Tuesday (February 05) called for humanitarian aid to be allowed into country, as the OPEC nation grapples with shortages of food and medicine.

Guaido’s statements come after the United States has sent food and medicine toward Colombia’s border with Venezuela, although it is still unclear how the aid will get past the objections of President Nicolas Maduro, who has blocked shipments in the past.

U.S. officials said trucks carrying the aid, including high-protein foods, would arrive in Cucuta this week at the request of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who last month declared himself to be the South American nation’s interim president.

But Maduro has spoken out against aid coming into Venezuela.

Pressure is growing on President Nicolas Maduro to step down after more than a dozen European Union nations, including Britain, Germany and France, joined the United States, Canada and a group of Latin American countries in recognising opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

As of late last year, Venezuela is suffering from a roughly 85 percent shortage of medicines, decrepit hospital infrastructure, and an exodus of doctors during a brutal recession. — Reuters

Venezuela’s Maduro orders EU envoy to leave the country

UNTV News   •   June 30, 2020

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday (June 29) ordered the European Union envoy to leave the country, hours after the EU announced sanctions against several officials loyal to the socialist leader.

The EU subjected 11 officials to financial sanctions, citing their actions against the democratic functioning of Venezuela’s National Assembly.

The European bloc earlier this month said a decision by the South American nation’s Supreme Court in May to ratify an ally of Maduro as president of the National Assembly was illegitimate. Opposition leader Juan Guaido was the rightful congressional president following his election by the majority of members in January, not the court-approved Luis Parra, the EU said.

Parra was among those named in Monday’s sanctions, along with Franklyn Duarte and Jose Gregorio Noriega, who were named as vice-presidents of the assembly in the May court ruling.

Maduro gave the EU envoy, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, 72 hours to leave the country after the sanctions were announced.

“A plane can be loaned to her to leave,” he said during an appearance on Venezuelan state TV.

Maduro also said his government was reserving diplomatic action in the case against the Spanish ambassador in Caracas, Jesus Silva, whom he said was “an accomplice of the criminal and terrorist Leopoldo Lopez, as published in the Wall Street Journal, for the plan to assassinate me, to assassinate the country’s top military and political leader.”

Last week, the U.S. newspaper published a report citing sources close to the opposition leader Lopez, indicating that he had come into contact with several security firms for an armed action in Venezuela. (Reuters)

(Production: Efrain Otero, Liamar Ramos)

OPEC and allies agree to extend historic output cut to end of July

UNTV News   •   June 8, 2020

REUTERS – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, agreed on Saturday (June 6) to extend the historic 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) production cut till the end of July 2020.

The decision was made by the OPEC via video conference of members on Saturday to further support the rebound in international oil prices.

All participants agreed to extend the cut of 9.7 million bpd pertaining in May and June by one further month, instead of the planned reduction of 7.7 million barrels a day after this month, according to a statement published on OPEC’s website later Saturday.

The meeting recognized that the output cut carried out in May had helped garner “tentative signs of a recovery” in the global economy and oil market.

It noted that global oil demand was still expected to contract by around 9 million bpd for the whole of 2020.

Meanwhile, countries that failed to achieve 100 percent of its production cuts in May and June will make extra reductions from July to September to compensate for their failings.

All parties will also keep a close watch on the oil market, which will also be assessed at the end of this month to decide whether to extend the agreement further.

According to the Saudi Arabian energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud in the video conference, despite many uncertainties, concerted action by oil producing countries is needed to restore global confidence in the oil market.

Saudi Arabia pumped more than 12 million barrels of oil after talks with Russia and other countries broke down in March.

But during these times, the oil prices fell sharply due to the COVID-19, leading to the continuous collapse of crude oil prices.

On April 13, Saudi Arabia and Russia reached an agreement with other oil producers to cut oil output by a record 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for May and June.

Since then, international oil prices have rallied sharply, with Brent crude rising from the lowest about 16 U.S. dollars a barrel to about 40 U.S. dollars.

OPEC, non-OPEC partners reach deal for oil production cut amid COVID-19

UNTV News   •   April 10, 2020

An emergency video conference between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC partners, chaired by Saudi Arabia, ended on Thursday with a tentative agreement to cut oil production output, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage worldwide demand for crude.

Saudi media reported that the countries at the meeting had reached a preliminary agreement. In principle, OPEC and non-OPEC producers would cut their oil output by ten million barrels a day in the first phase of this year in May and June. The subsequent production cuts will be phased in.

The agreement to cut oil production is valid for two years. Saudi head of the Ministry of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said after the meeting that Saudi Arabia was ready to push for further production cuts after the agreement expires.

Mohamed Arkab, OPEC rotating president and Algerian Energy Minister, stressed during his opening speech of the meeting that the current global outbreak of COVID-19 has caused major damage for the world economy and the global oil market.

He also said that the crude oil supply and demand imbalance has a huge impact on the income of the oil exporters. Countries should take a responsible attitude to seek constructive solutions, to re-balance the global oil market.

According to some analyses, affected by the pandemic, the international demand for crude oil dropped sharply. An oversupply of 25 to 30 million barrels of crude oil per day is likely to appear in May, which means that after the deal of production cut of ten million barrels per day, the international crude oil market’s supply still exceeds demand.

Before there is a significant turning point of the pandemic in Europe and the United States, there will not be any fundamental changes to this situation, globally. (Reuters)

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