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    Oil pumps are seen in Lake Maracaibo, in Lagunillas, Ciudad Ojeda, in the state of Zulia, Venezuela, March 20, 2015

    Venezuela Decides on Destination for Oil if US Closes Market

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    The Venezuelan authorities have decided where to redirect the country’s oil supplies should the United States close its markets to it, Venezuelan Ambassador to Russia Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On July 17,  US President Donald Trump said that if the Venezuelan government proceeded with the Constituent Assembly vote, which is scheduled to take place this Sunday, the United States would "take strong and swift economic actions."

    "Our main PDVSA oil company has its own backup plan. If there is a boycott, a closure of the North American market for Venezuelan oil (some 700,000 barrels a day), then we have already made provisions for redirecting them," the ambassador said.

    The Constituent Assembly, when elected, will have the power to draft a new version of constitution. The opposition believes that the decision to convene the assembly should have been taken via a referendum rather than a decree.

    Since early April, Venezuela saw mass protests after the decision of the Supreme Court to take over legislative powers from the opposition-controlled National Assembly. The top court reversed the ruling but the step did not stop the mass demonstrations.

    The opposition is staging a 48-hour strike that will last through Thursday and aims to prevent the government from pressing forward with the Sunday vote. The protests have been ongoing in Venezuela since April, when the country's top court attempted to curb the powers of the National Assembly.

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    sanctions, Oil, United States, Venezuela
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