The United Nations Security Council rejected a pair of resolutions today on the Venezuelan crisis, one from Russia and one from the United States. While a draft of the Russian resolution seen by Reuters called for “a political solution to the crisis” and proposed that the Maduro government act as “the primary coordinator of international assistance” for the country, the U.S. resolution called for free and fair presidential elections and open doors to humanitarian aid.

The U.S. resolution had nine votes in favour and three against, including China and Russia. Because China and Russia are permanent members of the Security Council, they have veto power.

The Russian resolution had four votes in favour and seven against, including one from the United States, which also has veto power.

Reuters: Oil Exports Fall 40% After US Sanctions

Reuters is reporting this afternoon that Venezuelan oil exports fell a staggering 40% in the first month after U.S. sanctions targeting the state-owned PDVSA oil company came into effect.

The White House sanctions against PDVSA came into effect on January 28, and are by far the most punitive economic measures that the United States has taken against the Maduro regime. Given Venezuela’s dependence on oil sales, these sanctions will have effects that will reverberate throughout every corner of the country’s already-battered socio-economic structure.

Citing data from PDVSA as well as the Refinitiv Eikon financial analysis firm, Reuters reports that oil exports fell from approximately 1.4-1.6 million barrels per day of crude oil to 920,000.

The sanctions freeze the company’s assets in the U.S., and ban all U.S. entities from conducting business with the company.

Guaido Plans to Return to Venezuela This Weekend

Interim president Juan Guaido met today with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, where the two discussed the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

During a press conference, Guaido said that he planned to return to Venezuela this weekend, setting the stage for his potential arrest. Guaido left Venezuela on February 22, despite being the target of a judicial order banning him from leaving the country.

Guaido also spoke on the what he considers to be the nature of the crisis, saying:

It’s not true that this is a dilemma between war and peace as they [the government] want it to be seen. It’s also not true that this is a matter of ideology between left and right. The dilemma in Venezuela is between democracy and dictatorship, between misery, hunger-related deaths, and a return to prosperity…

For his part, Bolsonaro said that Brazil wants to see “a free, prosperous, democratic Venezuela” with a healthy economy, and that his government would support Guaido’s.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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