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India faces pressure to stop buying Venezuelan oil

THE US is pressing India to stop buying Venezuelan oil as its attempted coup against the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro appears to flag.

US special envoy to Venezuela Elliot Abrams is seeking to cut off access to a crucial market for the country’s oil as Washington has increased sanctions in a bid to place severe financial restrictions on the Bolivarian government.

As support for usurper Juan Guiado, the leader of the defunct National Assembly who declared himself interim president, wanes both inside and outside the country, the US is looking at other measures to increase pressure on Mr Maduro.

Cyber attacks and sabotage were blamed for a severe power shortage that saw large parts of Venezuela without electricity this weekend and both Washington and Mr Guaido hope that starving the people through punitive sanctions will cause the downfall of the government.

It is part of a well-worn strategy imposed by Washington on the region to depose leaders and governments that oppose US imperialism. 

Mr Abrams notoriously supported the use of death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala and recently reaffirmed his position that intervention in those countries, where thousands were massacred and raped, was “a fabulous achievement.”

On Sunday, he said the administration of President Donald Trump was to “persuade, urge and argue” against India’s purchase of oil from Venezuela.

The Indian market is crucial to Venezuela as its second-largest cash-paying customer. US sanctions are aimed at handing control of revenue from the country’s oil sales to Mr Guaido with “secondary sanctions” threatened against those who continue to trade with Caracas.

Mr Abrams warned: “We say you should not be helping this regime. Talks between the US and India to discuss the matter are scheduled for tomorrow.”

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