About a month ago, Reliance let it be known that it was to halt diluent exports to Venezuela... from its U.S. based subsidiaries. Before Reliance's announcement, sources had informed this site that Brian Ballard had been retained to lobby in Mukesh Ambani's favour with the Trump administration. Ambani seeks lifting of sanctions, so his business can keep booming at Venezuela's expense. A set of PDVSA shipping data obtained by this site shows that, between 24 Feb - 16 Mar, Reliance lifted 7,600,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude.
While @realDonaldTrump officials press #India’s @reliancegroup to stop doing biz with @NicolasMaduro, Ambani’s lobbyists @ballardfirm busy trying to get @USTreasury clearance over either #Venezuela or #Iran sanctions... pic.twitter.com/lXiaQqltxn
— alek boyd (@alekboyd) March 12, 2019
The list of companies still lifting crude from Venezuela has decreased dramatically, a sign of how effective the sanctions regime has been. Aside from Reliance, CNPC, and Rosneft, which get the lion share of PDVSA crude exports nowadays, there's only a handful of other companies left getting crude cargoes: Essar, Trafigura, MS International & Corp S.A., Sahara Energy and Cubametales.
In the meanwhile, someone has got to fill in the void left by Reliance re diluents. PDVSA sources inform that Spain's Repsol and Rosneft have taken the task, which might have been the reason why Elliot Abrams said in a recent visit to Spain that the U.S. government was looking into Repsol's activities. Abrams reportedly said that European countries should also look into the activities of the Boliburgeoisie, given how this class of utterly corrupt thugs are allowed to launder hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from Venezuela.
Spain is the perfect exhibit, for not only money laundering is rampant and it involves banks, authorities, law firms, jet set, etc., furthermore, the Spanish government's policy of turning a blind eye goes beyond mere disregard towards anti money laudering laws. Well known boligarchs and chavistas are welcomed and are getting citizenship and residencies. Refusal to comply with U.S. extradition requests involving folks wanted by DoJ is another aspect. Spain is actively undermining not only U.S. sanctions regime against chavismo, but seems to want to replace the U.S. as Venezuela's corrupt favourite destination. Madrid is the new Miami...