Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US?

Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US?

1/24/19 — Telesur Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounced that the real objective of the United States behind imposing a new government in the South American nation is to appropriate the energy and mineral resources of this country.

“They have the ambition for oil, gas and gold. We tell them: these riches are not yours, they are for the people of Venezuela and that’s how it will be forever,” Nicolas Maduro warned on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Venezuelan capital Caracas shortly after opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido illegally declared himself “interim president” and received support for his unconstitutional move from the U.S., Canada and other right-wing governments in the region. 

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A deeper look into the reasons behind such right-wing flood to support the parliamentary coup reveals that the objective behind such endorsement of an internationally illegal act is behind the publicly stated humanitarian reasons and in fact about robbing the country of its riches after two decades of progressive and sovereign policies by the Bolivarian government that limited Washington’s access to such resources.

Oil

According to the CIA World Factbook, as of Jan. 1, 2017, Venezuela had the largest proven oil reserve estimate of any country, including Saudi Arabia.

As of November 2017, the South American nation had 300,900,000,000 barrels of proven reserves in the “Hugo Chávez” Orinoco Oil Belt. After the inauguration of Nicolas Maduro for a second term, Donald Trump government began to consider expanding its sanctions on Venezuelan crude to add pressure against the constitutional president.

Oil analysts have indicated that the objective, beyond preventing the sale of oil to China, is to ensure a stable source of oil to serve the U.S. market that is increasing and that its own current production can not supply. On Jan. 16, the U.S. Department of Energy revealed that its reserves decreased by 2.7 million barrels, reaching 437.1 million.

In terms of proven gas reserves, Venezuela had 198.3 trillion cubic feet in 2017, according to the Ministry of Petroleum. The new proven reserves are distributed in 2.3 trillion cubic feet of the traditional areas of Maracaibo, Maturin, Barcelona, Cumana and Barinas, and 718.7 trillion that lie in the blocks of the Oil Belt.

Mining resources

Venezuela has denounced the international campaign promoted by the United States against the Mining Arc where the reserves of gold, diamonds and other minerals such as coltan are concentrated.

The campaign against the Mining Arc has sought to increase the levels of economic suffocation in Venezuela by presenting Venezuelan gold as a product of trafficking and corruption.

In 2018 Venezuela advanced in the certification of more than 30 gold fields in the country, with which it aimed to establish itself “as the second largest gold reserve on the planet”.

During  2018 and despite the sanctions, the South American nation received a 200 percent increase in its non-oil exports compared to 2017, mainly gold sold to Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom and especially to Turkey. In the first months of 2018, Venezuela exported 23.62 tons of gold to the Eurasian nation, valued at US$900 million. (read more)

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