Samson: How did Russia deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to Venezuela?
Moscow has succeeded in delivering huge financial support to Venezuela, estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars and euros, to circumvent the US sanctions regime that limits Caracas’ access to the global financial system, a Russian press report has revealed.
According to the “Moscow Times”, Russia sent cash shipments of US and European currency to Venezuela, which provided a lifeline to the South American country mired in a severe financial crisis. The newspaper revealed that Russia delivered about $ 315 million of banknotes between the dollar and the euro, in six separate shipments between May 2018 and April 2019, according to data obtained from the agency “Bloomberg.” According to the Moscow Times, the shipments came from banks and companies run by Moscow and poured into the Venezuelan Development Bank.
President Nicolas Maduro’s regime is struggling to maintain access to hard currency, as US sanctions keep it isolated from traditional financial systems, while most major banks refuse to deal with Caracas. Among the various ways to circumvent the sanctions, Venezuela has resorted to secret gold sales to raise funds, while also studying the possibility of using cryptocurrencies, or a global payment system administered by Russia to send money.
Moscow is a last resort for Caracas, both politically and financially, and has always affirmed its support for the leftist leader who helped him stay in power in the face of Western pressure on him to resign.
While dozens of Western and Latin countries regard Maduro as illegitimate as a result of allegations of rigging the 2018 election, Russian support has been decisive, along with other countries including China. In October, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov met with President Maduro and Vice President Tariq al-Esimi, who thanked Moscow for facilitating oil shipments to Venezuela despite US sanctions. “Russian-Venezuelan relations are at their best and we have proved that in the midst of difficulties we can advance together effective political and diplomatic coordination between the two governments, in the face of the siege and imperialist aggression that Russia is also suffering,”
Al-Esimi said. Borisov reiterated Moscow’s support for Maduro, even though many countries regard him as an authoritarian and illegitimate ruler, and recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president. LINK
Samson: Trump invites ASEAN leaders to a special summit in America
US President Donald Trump has called on leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to “special summit” in the United States early next year, during their annual summit that ends Monday, in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Robert O’Brien, the US national security adviser who attended the ASEAN meeting on behalf of Trump, addressed the leaders of the 10-nation ASEAN and six countries from the Indian and Pacific oceans.
A group of Asian countries attending the Bangkok meeting failed to reach an understanding on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement. According to a report published in the newspaper “Bangkok Post” Thai, 16 countries held a ministerial meeting in Bangkok, on Saturday, on the agreement of the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership “RECEP”. According to the report, the meeting failed to reach an understanding on the agreement, and high-level officials participated in it expressed optimism that it will be signed by the end of this year.
He explained that among the topics that did not agree on, tariffs and investment, in addition to various other points, and of great importance, without giving further details.
ASEAN member countries are Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Brunei, Laos and Cambodia, as well as the countries of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. On Friday, the 35th ASEAN Summit kicked off in Bangkok and will last for four days. LINK
Samson: US Trade Secretary: Trump is committed to Asia
4th November, 2019
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said on Monday at a regional forum that the administration of President Donald Trump is “fully committed” to Asia
“The Trump administration is deeply connected and fully committed to this region,” Ross said at a business forum at the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok, Thailand
“We will continue to negotiate trade agreements with countries in this region LINK