Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Tillerson says considers Venezuela oil sale restrictions, sanctions

Tillerson says considers Venezuela oil sale restrictions, sanctions

The Trump administration is weighing restrictions on Venezuela's oil exports and the sale of US-refined petroleum products to the country, but it is wary of the damage that may cause to American companies, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

"Not doing anything to bring this (crisis) to an end is also asking the Venezuelan people to suffer", Tillerson said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Argentina during a tour of Latin America to bolster a common front against Venezuela's bid to hold a presidential election that opponents deem illegitimate.

Tillerson and Faurie shake hands after giving joint news conference in Buenos Aires
Tillerson and Faurie shake hands after giving joint news conference in Buenos Aires

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have already emigrated to neighboring countries such as Colombia and Brazil, who are now calling for greater worldwide efforts to help ease the crisis. The US, Canada and the European Union have imposed economic sanctions targeting Maduro loyalists seen as profiteers or human rights abusers.

Tillerson's visit to Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica was to focus on attempts to step up pressure on Venezuela, which the U.S. accuses of corruption and rights abuses.

Washington may increase political pressure on the Venezuelan government by imposing a ban on oil imports from the country. "We do not seek short-term deals with lop-sided returns", Mr Tillerson said.

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He said the USA also recognised that other countries in the region could be harmed by such a move.

But Tillerson also said that he wants to find ways to mitigate the negative effect sanctions would have on USA oil companies, Venezuelans and other regional countries that rely on Venezuelan oil.

Tillerson told reporters on Sunday that sanctioning the oil, or prohibiting the sale of it to the USA is something they continue to consider.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the USA is considering restricting imports of Venezuelan crude oil.

"We also have called upon Russian Federation to fulfill its role as the guarantor of eliminating chemical weapons from the Syrian regime" and said the USA has called on Russian Federation to stop vetoing United Nations resolutions needed for global investigation of such cases.

Meanwhile, the quality of the crude Venezuela still exports to the U.S.is falling, which has made buyers less willing to buy it.

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