17:03 GMT +319 August 2019
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    'Together With Imperialism': Maduro Accuses Guaido of Stealing Oil Profits

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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused opposition leader Juan Guaido of stealing US-based Venezuelan oil refiner Citgo, which is owned by the state-run PDVSA company.

    "Mr. Juan Guaido, acting together with imperialism, has stolen Citgo from us. And I am asking, what have they done with the money? Where is the Citgo money? They have stolen the Citgo money from us. And the products meant for our oil refineries were stolen from us, too", Maduro said live on Periscope on Wednesday.

    READ MORE: US to Triple Import of Russian Oil Amid Sanctions Against Venezuela — Report

    PDVSA’s assets worth $7 billion were blocked by the United States amid the political crisis in Venezuela in January when Guaido proclaimed himself the country’s interim president and was immediately endorsed by Washington and a number of US allies.

    The opposition subsequently appointed new members to the boards of directors of the two companies. PDVSA called the move an attempt to steal the wealth of Venezuelans.

    Meanwhile, Venezuela’s oil production hit a 16 year low in April as a result of mismanagement as well as US sanctions against the nation’s energy sector, the Energy Information Administration said in a report on Monday.

    Widespread power outages, mismanagement of the country's oil industry, US sanctions directed at Venezuela's energy sector and PDVSA, have all contributed to the recent declines, the report said.

    READ MORE: ‘Unwritten Rules’: US Demands Foreign Oil Companies Cut Ties With Venezuela

    The report also predicted oil production would continue falling and possibly accelerate throughout 2019 as sanctions-related deadlines pass.

    Guaido proclaimed himself interim president in a bid to dispute Maduro’s re-election in May 2018. However, constitutionally-elected Maduro was endorsed as the only legitimate president of Venezuela by China, Russian and a number of other countries.

    Topic:
    Political Crisis in Venezuela (563)

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    Tags:
    oil profits, accusations, Citgo, PDVSA, Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, United States, Venezuela
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