The losses that Venezuela has suffered as a result of US economic sanctions have totalled $130 billion, Venezuela's Ambassador to Russia, Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa said.
According to the diplomat, Venezuela is waging an unequal war against the most powerful economic and military power in the world - the United States. Venezuelan funds were blocked in more than 40 banks in 17 countries. For example, Portugal's Novo Banco blocked more than $1.5 billion of the state-run Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.
According to Tortosa, the money that the economy of Venezuela has lost because of the sanctions could hold the country afloat for nine years.
On May 21, the Central Bank of Venezuela issued an order to abjure the use of Visa and MasterCard international payment systems in the country.
The US authorities started introducing economic sanctions against Venezuela in 2015. After the beginning of the political crisis in the country in early 2019, Washington intensified the pressure of sanctions against Caracas. The US Treasury imposed restrictions against oil company PDVSA and froze the accounts of Citgo - the main foreign asset of the Venezuelan oil and gas company.
In early January, Nicolas Maduro took office as president for the second time, which sparked protests across the country. Opposition accused Maduro of consolidation of power. On January 23, the speaker of the National Assembly of Venezuela (the Parliament), Juan Guaido, declared himself interim president of the country thus establishing a dual power regime in the country.
Guaido was recognized by the opposition, most of the countries of Latin America, the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom and many EU countries. Russia, China, Turkey, Bolivia and Cuba supported Maduro.