CIUDAD DE MEXICO/CARACAS – President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated his country is willing to sell gasoline to Venezuela on “humanitarian” grounds if asked, defying United States sanctions against the Latin American nation.
“If a request were made and it was a matter of humanitarian need, we would do it,” Lopez Obrador said Monday during his regular morning press conference, insisting that Mexico was an independent country, World News reported.
“We make our own decisions and do not mess with the policies of other countries,” he added.
The United States government has persistently taken measures to choke off Venezuelan oil exports in a bid to starve the government of President Nicolas Maduro of its key source of revenue.
Consequently, Venezuela’s state-run oil firm, the PDVSA, has been forced to exchange the country’s crude oil for imported petroleum in recent years, though such swaps have been waning since Washington began imposing sanctions on the PDVSA in January 2019.
While saying that he would not take sides in the Washington-Caracas dispute, the Mexican president further noted that his country could also export gasoline to Venezuela under the right circumstances. He added he had not yet received any request for oil sales from Caracas.
The remarks by the Mexican president came shortly after Iran — another target of US sanctions — sailed a flotilla of five tankers of gasoline and components to Venezuela through early June in defiance of threats from Washington.
The US failed to hinder Iran’s fuel shipments to Venezuela amid Tehran’s threat of a firm response to any such attempt. But Washington has vowed to punish the shipping firms linked to the trade and is considering imposing sanctions on dozens of foreign oil tankers that have transported Venezuelan oil.