Written by our Venezuela correspondent.
In all the meetings recently held in Washington, Juan Guaidó and his team with senior White House officials, including President Donald Trump, and with Deputies and Senators, Democrats and Republicans in the Capitol, a general consensus was reached, a certainty that It will motivate a series of harsh sanctions that the US government plans to announce in the coming days: the real support of the Nicolás Maduro regime is Russia, which is willing to invest 5,000 million in the extraction of crude oil and 1,000 million in gold mining and The diamonds of Venezuela.
Several participants in those meetings consulted separately by ABC in the past few days agree that the current consensus in the ruling class of Washington, both in the Government and the opposition and in the executive and legislative branches, is that the Kremlin is the last major support Maduro and that the only way to facilitate the fall of the latter is to cut the economic ties that Russia has tied with him in the past year.
The intention of a group of senior White House officials is to approve, finally and after months of doubt, the secondary sanctions. So far, the US Treasury has approved primary or direct sanctions, which affect only the Venezuelan regime and several of its leaders. Secondary sanctions would imply penalizing those who buy crude and other products from the regime, something that would affect not only Russian companies like Rosneft, but also Americans like Chevron or Spaniards like Repsol.
According to a senior official at the White House, who spoke with journalists and asked that his name not be revealed, “whether Rosneft, Reliance, Repsol or Chevron here in the US, I would now be careful about your activities in Venezuela that directly or indirectly support the dictatorship of Maduro. We are only halfway and we are only going to move in one direction, which is forward. And their activities are clearly worrisome”.
As the US special representative adds. for the Venezuelan crisis, «the Russians will soon discover that their continued support for Maduro will no longer be free. Others who continue to benefit or support Maduro should take their precautions. And, in general, you will see that in the coming weeks we announce measures that demonstrate the seriousness of our intentions in Venezuela ».