Maduro Clings To Power As Venezuela’s Refugee Count Hits 5 Million

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By Latin America Energy Advisor 

Russia’s Rosneft ‘Central’ to Maduro’s Survival:

Russian state oil company Rosneft is “central” to the survival of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government, said special U.S. representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, the Financial Times reported Wednesday. Rosneft, he said, plays a crucial role in trading the South American country’s crude oil and arranging financing in light of tightening U.S. economic sanctions that aim to squeeze Maduro’s coffers and pressure him to step down. “Rosneft is really central to the regime’s survival,” Abrams said. “It is buying the oil that is produced, it is helping sell that oil, it is helping arrange financing. Rosneft is really key here,” he added. Moscow says its relationship with the Maduro government is pragmatic. When asked why the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump had not imposed sanctions on Rosneft, Abrams said punitive measures against the company needed to be considered in a broader context.

The Number of Venezuelan Refugees is Expected to Exceed 5 Million:

The exodus of Venezuelans is set to surpass 5 million people, United Nations and European Union officials said Wednesday, Reuters reported. The number of Venezuelans fleeing the country’s economic turmoil is nearly 5,000 people per day, according to Eduardo Stein, joint special representative of the U.N. refugee and migration agencies. Some 4.5 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2015, according to official figures, but more are increasingly using illegal crossing points because they lack identification, Stein said.

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