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US NSA tweets warning to India against buying Venezuelan oil

IANS  |  United Nations 

The hardline US has issued a warning to against buying Venezuelan oil, saying it "will not be forgotten" and that Venezuela's has countered that it was an attempt to impose Washington's global "dictatorship".

Bolton tweeted on Tuesday: "Nations and firms that support (Venezuelan Nicolas) Maduro's theft of Venezuelan resources will not be forgotten", and displayed with it a news story about Venezuelan Minister visiting to sell more

His tweet continued with the warning: "The US will continue to use all of its powers to preserve the Venezuelan people's assets and we encourage all nations to work together to do the same."

and its allies have recognized and as the Latin American nation's President and have called on Maduro to quit.

The US does not consider that has the right to sell the country's -- and hence, calls the "theft".

Reacting to Bolton at a news conference here, Arreaza, who represents Maduro, said: "What he (Bolton) is trying to do here is give orders. This is a dictatorship that they are trying to impose on the world. Unilateralism at its maximum expression."

He asserted that because of Bolton's attitude "there was a rebellion against this, this dictatorship" at a meeting of the representatives of the Non-aligned Movement earlier Tuesday at the UN.

Bolton made a similar threat against buying oil from when Trump placed a more stringent international trade embargo on last year after withdrawing from a nuclear disarmament agreement made with it and five other

However, Trump gave India a temporary exemption from the embargo, which carried economic penalties for violations.

Facing an embargo on its by the US and most western countries, is trying to increase sales to India and other

Venezuelan Manuel Quevedo, who is in to attend the Petrotech 2019 trade event, told reporters there on Monday that his country wanted to double the current of 340,000 barrels per day to India.

is the third largest supplier of oil to India. and are its biggest customers.

Quevedo, who also heads the company Petroleos de Venezuela, met India's Petroleum and on Monday.

has the world's largest known reserves of oil estimated at more than 300 billion barrels - bigger than Saudi Arabia's 266 billion barrels.

India, which is wary of foreign interference in internal affairs, has refused to go along with the US and recognize Guaido as the President and stop dealing with

"India and Venezuela enjoy close and cordial relations. We are of the view that it is for the people of Venezuela to find to resolve their differences through constructive dialogue and discussion without resorting to violence," said last month.

The simmering dispute over the May 2018 presidential elections, which the US and the Venezuelan opposition say was not fair, erupted into a crisis when the on January 10 declared it invalid and Guaido proclaimed himself as the

Since then there have been massive protests by supporters of both the government and violence has claimed more than 40 lives, according to the UN. The is also facing a humanitarian crisis with severe shortages of and medicines.

At his news conference, Arreaza said the was ready to talk with the opposition, but without preconditions.

"Let's sit down together. We have our Constitution. Let us sit down and engage in dialogue. Let us try to find a solution without any kind of strings attached, or any kind of preconditions," he said.

Trump has ratcheted up Venezuela to his top foreign policy issue and said that US military intervention was an option. One of the problems for Venezuela's trade is that international banks are coming under increasing international pressure from the US.

Quevedo told reporters in New Delhi: "How payment is made is for the buyer and seller to decide. It can be in currency, it can be through other transferable methods and channels."

He floated the idea of a trade group with Venezuela, India, and whose commerce "doesn't necessarily have to be within the dollar".

(can be reached at and followed on Twitter @arulouis)



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 15:36 IST