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Feature 053011 Venezuela-Iran

Monday, May 30, 2011

The U.S. Sanctions Venezuela for Aiding Iran and its Nuclear Ambitions; Venezuelan Responses

"Finally, Hugo Chavez is being held accountable for his reckless efforts to aid and abet Iran's illegal pursuit of a nuclear capability and evasion of international sanctions. [Last] week, the Obama administration announced it was imposing sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA and the Venezuelan Military Industries Company CAVIM for their illicit dealings with Iran. The sanctions are admittedly minimal, but one hopes they signal a new vigor on the part of the administration towards further exposing and countering the nefarious Venezuelan-Iran axis." (Hugo Chávez in the U.S. Crosshairs, Foreign Policy, May 27, 2011)

In response to the aforementioned U.S. sanctions, on May 24 the Press Office of the Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S., in Washington, D.C., disseminated the "Statement" below to the milquetoast U.S. actions.

As well, an interesting rebuttal — owing to a request by MexiData.info — to the government's assertion, by Venezuelan analyst and commentator Alek Boyd, follows this Chávez administration statement.

"Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

"Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs

"Statement

"Venezuela Rejects U.S. Sanctions against PDVSA

"The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has learned of the decision announced by the Department of State of the United States to impose sanctions against our national oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), as part of a unilateral law targeting the Islamic Republic of Iran known as CISADA.

"The Bolivarian Government expresses its strongest rejection to this decision since it constitutes a hostile action on the fringes of international law that violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

"The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its revolution have a strong, independent and sovereign oil industry able to operate and permanently fulfill its commitments. Faced with this aggression, Venezuela further ratifies its oil independence and sovereignty.

"The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is undertaking a general assessment of the situation to determine how these sanctions affect the operational capacity of our oil industry and, therefore, the supply of 1.2 million barrels of oil per day to the U.S. Pending this assessment, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reserves itself the most adequate answer to this imperialist aggression.

"The revolutionary Government calls on all the Venezuelan people, laborers and especially the oil workers, to stay alert and mobilized in defense of our PDVSA and the sacred sovereignty of the homeland.

"Caracas, May 24, 2011"

And Alek Boyd writes:

"On 25 December last year I published this:

"'Venezuela partners with Petropars, OFAC designated Iranian company: Published in Gaceta Oficial no. 39.577, on Monday 20 December 2010 (page 2 & 3), Hugo Chavez's lame duck congress announced the creation of a partnership ('empresa mixta'), with Petropars UK Limited, a London-based entity that is wholly-owned by Petropars Ltd [board]. Petropars UK Limited, and its parent company, are part of a list of sanctioned U.S. Department of the Treasury designated companies, determined to be controlled by the government of Iran. The designation is the first from the United States in implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929, and builds upon actions mandated by the Security Council.'

"Therefore, the Embassy's argument — 'The Bolivarian Government expresses its strongest rejection to this decision since it constitutes a hostile action on the fringes of international law that violates the principles of the Charter of the United Nations' — is as preposterous as it gets.

"However, it is perfectly in line with the Chavez policy of flatly denying any connection to rogues and terrorist organizations, as they have done on countless other occasions when evidence of aiding and abetting members of ETA and FARC have surfaced. The fact is that Chavez keeps getting caught violating UN resolutions.

"The partnership between PDVSA and Petropars was published in the official gazette (do follow the links), which makes it official. As per Petropars, and who is behind it, anyone with an Internet connection can find out that its owners have close connections to the Iranian regime."

(Alek Boyd has worked as an independent researcher, reporter, lobbyist, civil and political rights activist, and he has experience in strategic and media consulting throughout Latin America.)

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