The Red Cross distributed humanitarian aid this afternoon in the La Candelaria neighbourhood of Caracas. The aid took the form of potable water containers and water purification tablets, and attracted large crowds, as the picture below shows:
A woman named Olinda Diaz spoke to El Pitazo after receiving her water from the Red Cross:
Diaz: … this is the humanitarian aid that we should have received two or three months ago, but these thugs that we have [in power], nothing good happens. Everything has to be done like as they say.
Galaviz: How long did you have to wait to receive your water job, Ms. Oliva? How many people were waiting with you?
Galaviz: How many people were in line with you?
Diaz: About 300, 400.
Galaviz: 300 people. What do you think about what you got?
Diaz: Well, I’m filling up with little containers of two, three litres–
Interrupting Woman: That’s another lie, to say that they’re giving out humanitarian aid. But that’s not humanitarian aid. That’s another lie. How is it possible that we’re so needy to the point that we really have to take measures, and we’re getting water containers? That’s not humanitarian aid. It’s another lie. Humanitarian aid would be focusing on hospitals.
A Venezuelan journalist named Frank Thomas was arrested by the National Bolivarian Police (NBP) while covering the Red Cross operation in La Candelaria. The video below shows the moment that he was arrested:
Thomas was held for approximately four hours. In a video statement after his release, Thomas said that he was interviewing a woman who claimed that some police officers had stolen part of the aid when he was arrested.
Reuters: PDVSA Circumventing US Sanctions With Rosneft’s Help
Reuters published an article today in which it claims that PDVSA is circumventing US sanctions against it by “funneling cashflow” through Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil giant. Reuters cited “sources and documents” for the information.
Since January, Maduro’s administration has been in talks with allies in Moscow about ways to circumvent a ban on clients paying PDVSA in dollars, the sources said. Russia has publicly said the U.S. sanctions are illegal and it would work with Venezuela to weather them.
Under the scheme uncovered by Reuters, Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has started passing invoices from its oil sales to Rosneft.
The Russian energy giant pays PDVSA immediately at a discount to the sale price – avoiding the usual 30-to-90 day timeframe for completing oil transactions – and collects the full amount later from the buyer, according to the documents and sources.
Reuters claims that India’s Reliance Industry Ltd. “has been asked to participate” in the scheme, but does not specify whether the company agreed to take part.
The White House placed sanctions on PDVSA on January 28 of this year.
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