Venezuela gets Chinese ‘breathing space’

They are referred to as ‘zombie tankers’, Chinese recruited ships that allegedly carry out surreptitious transactions with Beijing who are a ‘snooping cock’ in the sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump on the way to send oil to China and provide a welcome measure of financial welcome for the besieged Venezuelan economy.

The welcome Chinese outlet has by far been the biggest factor in creating a significant oil export surge for Venezuela in November, where almost all the oil exported by the Republic of South America is reputed to be to a total of more than half a million barrels a day. , finished. The country’s overall crude output was reportedly 484,000 barrels a day, though small by familiar Venezuelan standards, in fact an increase from what used to be close to 400,000 barrels. Even the end of November figure was down 48% year on year.

Washington’s response was swift. He moved to impose sanctions on the Chinese company National Electronics Import & Export Corporation, a state-owned company representing the country’s defense production industries in overseas sales, focusing primarily on defensive electronics. He accused Washington of National Electronics of supporting the titular administration in Caracas and by extension, undermining democracy.

While the Trump administration’s sanctions threats appear to have alarmed many countries and international shipping companies, Beijing, known for its ‘hard ball’ foreign policy posturing has continued its oil purchases from the Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA, with tankers full of oil. intended for China using various surreptitious methods including turning off their satellite signaling devices and hiding their identities to avoid detection.

Over time Trump’s sanctions threat also intimidated many traditional Venezuela buyers including Repsol SA, and Reliance Industries Ltd. However, many lesser-known companies have taken advantage of the absence of the ‘big names’ to duck under the sanctions radar.

This month, in its most blatant show of defiance about Trump’s sanctions, Washington’s arch enemy, Iran, sent its largest fleet yet, believed to number about ten tankers to Venezuela, to help Venezuela through what is, supposedly, faintly. shortage of fuel. Reports indicate that some of the float will be pressed into service to help export Venezuelan crude.

Back in August Washington reported that it had cooperated with foreign partners to seize a multi-million dollar Iranian fuel load bound for Venezuela which it described as the largest of its kind ever.