Tackling Maritime Challenges: Venezuela Seeks International Assistance Amidst US Sanctions

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez Appeals to the International Maritime Organization to Revive Nation’s Tanker Fleet.

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Venezuela’s Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez, has engaged in diplomatic efforts during her visit to London, where she appealed to the newly appointed head of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Arsenio Dominguez, to intervene and facilitate the revival of Venezuela’s tanker fleet. Rodriguez underscored the detrimental impact of US sanctions on Venezuelan shipping vessels, emphasizing their adverse effects on the nation’s maritime transport infrastructure. The sanctions have forced the state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), to mothball 39 tankers, with some vessels succumbing to disrepair.

During a meeting held yesterday, Rodriguez conveyed her concerns to Dominguez, highlighting the illegitimate nature of the sanctions imposed on the entire PDVSA fleet. Speaking to Caracas-based news network Telesur, Rodriguez expressed the gravity of the situation, stating, “We are the country with the fourth-largest number of blockaded ships worldwide, truly an embarrassing situation.”

In addition to the PDVSA fleet, Rodriguez pointed out that sanctions have been imposed on “30 international trade vessels” engaged in business with Venezuela. This multifaceted embargo has further exacerbated the challenges faced by Venezuela’s maritime sector. Rodriguez’s appeal for assistance comes amidst ongoing efforts to alleviate the impact of the six-year-old sanctions against Venezuela. Notably, in October of the previous year, the US partially eased restrictions by issuing a six-month license allowing transactions within Venezuela’s oil sector. This decision followed an agreement between Venezuelan administration and opposition leaders aimed at ensuring fair elections in 2024. The diplomatic discussions between Rodriguez and Dominguez underscore the urgent need for international collaboration to address the complex challenges facing Venezuela’s maritime industry.

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