US Issues “Do Not Travel” Advisory For Venezuela As Moscow Warns Caracas To Pay Its Debt On Time

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Tue, 01/29/2019

With speculation that the US may (or may not) be sending troops in Latin America, ostensibly to “advise” on any possible military unrest in Venezuela, moments ago the US state department raised its Travel Advisory to Venezuela to “Level 4: Do Not Travel” due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. This follows the January 24, advisory in which the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members “due to ongoing political instability.”

Separately, in what many saw was a warning not so much to Venezuela as to the US which yesterday implemented what amounts to an effective oil blockade of the Latin American nation, the Russian Ministry of Finance said that it expects Venezuela to make its next scheduled debt repayment to Moscow on schedule at the end of March.

Hours earlier, Russia’s deputy finance minister Sergei Storchak said that he expected Venezuela to have problems repaying its debts to Moscow in comments made after Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil firm. The finance ministry issued a separate statement later on Tuesday, saying it still expected a payment of over $100 million to be made on time.

“No changes in the agreement have been introduced and correspondingly Venezuela must fulfill the obligations it has taken upon itself to the creditor,” the ministry said.

Also on Tuesday, Russia repeated its criticism of the U.S. stance on Venezuela, describing the latest sanctions against the government of President Nicolás Maduro as illegitimate. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the new U.S. measures blocking all U.S. revenue from Venezuela’s national oil company were the latest example of Washington using economic sanctions to further U.S. commercial interests. The Kremlin has leveled similar criticism against U.S. sanctions on Iran and Ukraine.

“You know the consistent attitude of Moscow toward such actions, which our American colleagues are taking more and more frequently,” Peskov said. “We believe that in most cases, this is an instance of unfair competition.”

Russian officials have continued to insist that Maduro is Venezuela’s legitimate president and offered to mediate, along with Iran, among “responsible political forces” in the country. But they have not offered details about any specific new help that Russia would be willing to provide to Maduro.

Meanwhile, while Russia has repeatedly warned it does not accept US interference in Venezuela’s affairs, the question is what the country’s other major foreign creditor, China, will say… or do. As one of Venezuela’s biggest trade partners and creditors, China, has already opposed foreign interference in Venezuela’s affairs, saying the US will bear responsibility for sweeping sanctions it imposed.

The Rest…HERE

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