Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez greets his supporters. Photo by chavezcandanga.
Latin America: Week in Review, Venezuela

Venezuelans March In Caracas To Protest U.S. Sanctions On State Oil Company PDVSA

May 30, 2011 By Staff

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez greets his supporters, April 13, 2002. Photo by chavezcandanga.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Thousands of Venezuelans marched in the capital of Caracas Sunday to protest U.S. sanctions imposed on the South American country’s state oil company, PDVSA.

President Hugo Chávez’s United Socialist Party of Venzuela (PSUV, in Spanish) organized the march.

“What a march! This is popular power!” Chávez said in a tweet.

The march was attended by representatives of the cabinet and Rafael Ramírez, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum.

“Today, we’re going have a march to show profound rejection of imperialism’s intentions to attack our country,” Ramírez said, cited by Spanish newswire EFE.

Ramírez said Friday that Venezuela would continue to send the 1.2 million barrels of oil per day that his country currently exports to the United States.

The leftwing governments of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Raúl Castro in Cuba both released statements in support of PDVSA and criticizing the U.S. sanctions.

Sunday’s march marked the second major protest in Venezuela since the Obama administration slapped PDVSA with sanctions last week for allegedly violating the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996. Ramírez denies that Venezuela has exported gas to Iran in the period covered by the 1996 act.

The sanctions prohibit PDVSA from competing for U.S. government contracts, acquiring U.S. export licenses or receiving financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Venezuela is still allowed to export crude to the United States, however, and the sanctions do not apply to PDVSA subsidiaries.

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