(Reuters) – The United States is pressing India to stop buying Venezuelan oil that is a major source of revenue for President Nicolas Maduro’s government, Washington’s top envoy for Venezuela said, as the Trump administration this week threatened more U.S. sanctions to cut off Maduro’s financial lifelines.
“We say you should not be helping this regime, you should be on the side of the Venezuelan people,” Elliott Abrams told Reuters in an interview.
Trump - Administration - Message - Governments - Abrams
The Trump administration has given the same message to other governments, Abrams said, and has made a similar argument to foreign banks and private companies doing business with the Maduro government.
Abrams described the U.S. approach as “arguing, cajoling, urging.”
Pressure - India - United - States - Allies
The pressure on India comes as the United States and its regional allies, who back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, threaten more sanctions to cut off revenue streams to Maduro’s government and force him to step down.
Washington views Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader and has imposed sanctions on the country’s oil sector and announced asset freezes and travel bans targeting top government officials.
Market - Venezuela - Economy - Customer - OPEC
The Indian market is crucial for Venezuela’s economy because it has historically been the second-largest cash-paying customer for the OPEC country’s crude, behind the United States, which through sanctions against Maduro has handed control of much of that revenue to Guaido.
Oil shipments to China, Venezuela’s other major importer, do not generate cash because they go to pay off billions of dollars in loans made to Caracas by Beijing.
Talks - Venezuela - Trade - Tensions - Washington
The talks over Venezuela come as trade tensions rise between Washington and New Delhi, and when the United States is also pushing India to cease buying Iranian oil.
The United States is planning to end preferential trade treatment for India that allows duty-free entry for up to $5.6 billion worth of its exports to the United States.
U.S. sanctions typically block American firms...
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