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The Triumph of Maduro

The first tanker from Iran brings petrol to the oil state of Venezuela. A provocation to Washington.

Turning defeat into triumph is a speciality of Venezuela’s ruler Nicolás Maduro. He had another opportunity on Monday. There the first of five Iranian oil tankers arrived near Puerto Cabello, martially escorted by Russian fighter planes of the Venezuelan air force.

Both Iran and Venezuela are subject to a US embargo. Only a few weeks ago, the US government had sent fighter ships to the Caribbean to establish a sea blockade around Venezuela under the pretext of fighting drug trafficking.

But despite harsh warnings from Washington and warlike responses from the Venezuelans and Iranians, the tankers were able to make their way unhindered. “The US avoided an escalation, because a blockade would only have worsened the situation of the population without bringing a political solution,” believes pollster Luis Vicente León.

In the port of the refinery in Palito the “Fortune” unloaded petrol and chemicals on Monday, which are no longer allowed to be imported into Venezuela because of the embargo. “The end of Ramadan brings the arrival of the Fortune,” Maduro wrote in a tweet.

“In times when the Empire tries to force its power upon us, the brotherhood of free peoples saves us.” Four more tankers are on their way. They’ll bring a total of 1.5 million barrels of fuel. Until a few years ago, Venezuela produced almost twice that in one day.

According to experts, the petrol will not even last for three weeks. It is unclear how much of it will end up at the petrol stations in the first place and how much will end up on the black market, which, according to opposition MP and energy expert Elías Matta, is controlled by the National Guard.

The petrol shortage has been the latest everyday drama of the Venezuelan people for a few weeks now, along with Covid-19, power cuts, water shortages and shortages of medicines and food. In front of supermarkets, water and gas stations, queues are forming with up to a day’s waiting time.

Maduro reinterprets this into a narrative of heroic resistance to the empire. The US sanctions and the quarreling opposition both provide unintentional help in this. A coup plan has only just come to light, which US mercenaries were supposed to realize and in which the opposition was at least initially involved.

The arrival of the Iranian tankers is causing upset in Washington. “The world’s greatest thief (Maduro) has joined forces with the world’s leading sponsor of terror,” commented US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The USA is pushing for Maduro’s resignation. but every body knows world great leader of terror are USA and Israel.

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