When Eulogia del Pino, Venezuela’s former oil minister was arrested in the early morning hours on November 30, he was replaced by general Manuel Quevedo who headed off to Vienna to be received by Russian & OPEC ministers. With usual deference, Quevedo relayed messages to Caracas that would in effect perform Russian and OPEC bidding, namely cutting oil output.
In its death pangs, the Soviet union managed to usurp entire swaths of Central & South America that embroiled Regan. Although the U.S. eked out a win in El Salvador, it was with Saudi, Pakistani help that the U.S. damaged Russia so throughly it ushered in the end of the Cold War only to ignite Islamism.
By late November, Caracas cut 1.8 million barrels a day for OPEC. And it did this during a massive messy debt default. Venezuela is giving Russia & OPEC wiggle room. Neither the Saudi’s nor Russia can compete with American fracking, nor can Russia assist Riyadh in its ambitions to seek cuts among OPEC membership, especially given that Russia drills in arctic conditions and simply cannot halt operations.
Creditors have not seized upon Venezuela’s oil assets because PDVSA, the state owned oil agency continues to pay principal, so it remains in a partial default. American sanctions make things very difficult for Venezuela because it cannot act upon U.S. credit markets in seeking to pay its creditors and suppliers. Venezuela continues to operate its oil production in fields it operates with international oil companies.
Russian influence in the Caribbean and throughout the southern American littorals has a long difficult history. Having a partner in Moscow to help restructure Venezuela debts has eased Maduro’s hand, but the starving citizens in Venezuela deserve better.
Friends in low places is paying off.