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Why is US choking Venezuela’s economy?

NEW DELHI: US sanctions came into effect on Sunday to block Venezuela‘s economic lifeline of oil exports, in what Washington hopes will be a major blow in its fledgling campaign to topple leftist President Nicolas Maduro. It is among a volley of steps by President Donald Trump‘s administration to oust Maduro and install opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized by more than 50 countries, including most in Latin America.

Economy & oil

Oil is the blood of Venezuela’s crippled economy, accounting for 96% of exports. The country is facing a major economic crisis, with projections that inflation could soar to a mind-boggling 10 million per cent this year. Some 2.7 million Venezuelans have fled since 2015 faced with shortage of basic goods and medicine, according to UN figures. The United States has blamed Maduro and his late predecessor Hugo Chavez for Venezuela’s economic woes.

India & Venezuela

India was the third-biggest buyer of Venezuelan oil in 2017 after the United States and China but Indian companies have backed off in the face of US sanctions, making China and Russia the crucial economic and political backers of Maduro — whose re-election last year was widely criticised for irregularities.

Sanctions & people

A study by a US think tank has warned that the growing sanctions will “vastly” harm ordinary Venezuelans. It says that Venezuela recorded more than 40,000 additional deaths between 2017 and 2018 due to sanctions that led to shortages of food and medicine.

News credit : Indiatimes