The United States has threatened to impose sanctions on Repsol, the US oil company Chevron and the Indian conglomerate Reliance for their activities related to Venezuela, although it reserves its toughest warning to the Russian state consortium of Rosneft crude.
"Whether it is Rosneft, Reliance, Repsol or Chevron , here in the United States I would be careful about your activities in Venezuela that directly or indirectly support the dictatorship (of Venezuelan President Nicolás) Maduro," said a senior US official, who he asked for anonymity in a telephone press conference.
"We are only in the middle (of the American campaign of pressure and sanctions related to Maduro support) and we are only going to move in one direction, which is forward. And their activities (of those companies) are clearly worrying," he said. warned the source.
As for the possible sanctions against Rosneft, something that has been rumored in Washington for weeks, the official replies that this option is "absolutely on the table."
Rosneft is one of the most active Russian corporations in Venezuela, where it has increased its oil activities and has become the great intermediary of Venezuelan crude before the sanctions imposed by Washington on the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.
Repsol has gradually reduced its equity exposure in Venezuela, which at the end of the third quarter of 2019 amounted to 351 million euros, 23% less than at the end of 2018; and receives Venezuelan crude in payment of the accumulated debts, which allows him not to infringe US sanctions on PDVSA.
Meanwhile, Chevron is the only major US oil company in Venezuela, where it has 8,000 employees, and is among the only five companies in the sector that have received authorization from the US Government - renewed in January and expires on April 22 - to operate in that country.
The US official spoke with the press shortly before the US president, Donald Trump , received the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó , recognized by more than 50 countries as interim president of Venezuela, in the White House.
The meeting, the first between the two, occurs a day after Trump invited Guaidó to his speech on the State of the Union before Congress and honored him as the "legitimate" president of Venezuela.
The source stressed that the US "does not plan any negotiations with the Maduro regime" and is only willing to talk to him "to discuss his exit" from power.
Trump has instructed his government to "accelerate and intensify its measures in relation to Venezuela" and "create more stress on Maduro . "
"Our campaign of maximum pressure has twelve months, is halfway to achieve maximum pressure and we have much to do," said the official.
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