- Venezuela is facing an oil shortage.
- Maduro has announced the capture of a US spy.
- Venezuela has accused the US of sending spies.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that a US spy has been caught spying close to the Amuay and Cardon refineries. According to his statement, the man is linked to the CIA. He was reportedly found with a sizeable amount of money as well as specialized weapons. No further details have been revealed except that he is in detention.
It is unclear what the foreign agent’s objective was, but there is speculation that he was on a sabotage mission.
Speaking separately about national security issues on Friday, Maduro revealed that Venezuelan security forces had in recent days foiled a plan by foreign players to destroy the El Palito oil refinery.
Venezuela Seeks To Protect Its Oil Refineries
Venezuela was once the gem of Latin America in terms of prosperity but has fallen behind in recent years. Years of systemic corruption and economic mismanagement, not to mention mounting sanctions imposed by the US government have pushed it to the brink of collapse.
Oil is the country’s main export commodity and covers a significant proportion of its domestic product. Before the downward spiral, Venezuela was among the top ten oil-producing nations in the world. Right now, the country is heavily dependent on oil imports from Iran for survival.
It subsequently takes measures to safeguard the few remaining oil refineries from adversaries.
The US Weaponizing Oil Shortage
Oil shortage in Venezuela has been exacerbated by US sanctions which prevent other nations from supplying badly needed refinery processing chemicals.
Thousands of Venezuelans are once again lining up in service stations across the country as oil rationing by the Nicolas Maduro’s government ensues. The US has targeted the industry in order to try and usurp Maduro from power.
Many of the country’s refineries have halted operations as years of underinvestment take their toll. The Iranian regime, which has become a crucial partner in the trade has promised to continue its support. It has in recent days sent out a flotilla of three oil tankers.
Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro recently thanked the Iranian leadership for assisting his country during this time of need. The two countries face a flurry of economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.
Iran and Venezuela have, on numerous occasions, accused the United States of sending out spies and using espionage tactics against them.
In July, Iran executed Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, a suspected spy. He was accused of spying on Iranian forces in Syria.
In May, two American citizens Airan Berry, 41 and Luke Denman, 34, were arrested in Venezuela following their involvement in a failed coup against Maduro. They were arrested alongside six Venezuelans.
The men had apparently planned to kidnap the president. The foiled scheme was orchestrated by Jordan Goudreau, a former Green Beret. Eight people involved in the covert operation were killed during the sting operation.
In the aftermath of the incident, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused the Trump administration of trying to assassinate him. He additionally claimed that opposition leader Juan Guaidó funded the group.