The Fortune oil tanker, the first of five iranian ships what do they bring Venezuela gasoline and derivatives to produce fuel, docked this Monday at the port of the El Palito refinery (Carabobo state), reported the oil minister, Tareck El Aissami.
"Images of the arrival of the first‘ Fortune ’ship at our El Palito refinery. We keep moving forward and WINNING !! ”, El Aissami wrote on Twitter, sharing photos of the tanker.
On Saturday night, the ship had arrived in Venezuelan waters escorted by ships of the Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela.
Venezuela needs gasoline to keep the country running, as its refining circuit is operating at less than 10% of its 1.3 million bpd capacity, forcing it to rely on imports.
On Sunday, Maduro defended his right to trade in international waters and airspace, despite sanctions weighing on the economies of Caracas and Tehran.
"Thanks to President (Hasan) Rohaní (...) and to all Iran, from the heart, for their solidarity, for their support, for their courage, for their decision," he said during a telematic participation in a meeting with part of his Government team.
In addition to gasoline, the president explained, These boats that will travel the Venezuelan seas for four days also bring materials to make more fuel, a product that has been in short supply for years., in the last weeks more than before, in the country with the largest proven oil reserves.
Iran has repeatedly expressed its support for Maduro, while Juan Guaidó considers that the strengthened rapprochement between Tehran and Caracas is a "cause for alarm" for Latin America. In a statement, Guaidó (recognized as the president in charge of Venezuela for fifty countries, led by the United States) considered on Thursday that the ships "will only serve to enrich the dictatorial mafia," referring to a black market that flourishes with scarcity. of gasoline, and "supply for a few weeks" to the population.
The Iranian ships seek to give “air” to the Chavista regime, but they will not have “real impact on current gasoline shortage”he commented to the AFP the oil specialist Luis Oliveros.
Venezuela's oil production, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, is in free fall due to a collapse of the industry that experts attribute to wrong policies, lack of investment and corruption. The activity of its refineries has collapsed at the same time, so it imports gasoline in recent years to cover domestic consumption, despite which it maintains derisory rates.
State oil company PDVSA produced just over 600,000 barrels a day last month, according to OPEC, a fifth of what it placed a decade ago.
(With information from EFE and AFP)
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