Is USA turning Venezuela into the next Afghanistan?

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WW3 WARNING: Russia and China BLAST US for sanctions on Venezuela – It is ‘ILLEGAL’

RUSSIA and China have lashed out at US President Donald Trump for slapping sanctions on Venezuela, as Moscow accuses Washington for “illegally” interfering the country’s affairs.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the new sanctions were an attempt to confiscate Venezuela’s assets. Speaking to  News Agency Tass, he said: “”We are concerned about what the US and its closest allies are doing with respect to Venezuela, brazenly violating all imaginable norms of international law and actually openly pursuing the policy aimed at overthrowing the legitimate government in that Latin American country.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang blasted the US for intervening in foreign affairs, insisting it only “makes situations more complicated”.

Mr Geng added: “The relevant country’s sanctions on Venezuela will lead to the deterioration of conditions of people’s lives.”

Both Russia and China are heavily invested in Venezuela, having lent billions of dollars to the South American country.

Venezuela has borrowed more than £38.35 billion (US$50 billion) from China, while Russia has given least £13 billion (US$ 17 billion) in credit lines and loans to the South American country.

Russia holds a large stake in a subsidiary of PDVSA, meaning Moscow will bear the brunt of US sanctions on the oil firm.

Helima Croft, the head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told CNBC: “The recovery of this country is going to be an enormous challenge and we’re just not there yet.

“We keep saying, well will the military rise up against Maduro? Well, this is technically a military government.

“So, the question is, will these sanctions put so much pressure on the Venezuelan military that they finally turn on Maduro? It’s a real open question.”

She added: “Is anyone going to step up and provide new financing (to Venezuela)? So again, look to Russia, look to China, they are the ones who can determine how long Maduro stays in power.

“If they give him a lifeline, he may have some more time.”

On Monday, Steve Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, and National Security Adviser John Bolton announced new Trump-approved sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil firm, PSVSA.

The sanctions were imposed in an attempt to undermine Mr Maduro’s Government and deter military support for his regime, aimed at driving him away from power.

By LATIFA YEDROUDJ

www.express.co.uk

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