On or about May 17, 5 Iranian tankers, the Clavel, the Forest, the Petunia, the Faxon, and the Fortune began a voyage from the Persian Gulf Star Refinery near Bandar Abbas, Iran, which makes gasoline. The ships then traveled around the Arabian Peninsula and through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea. They’ve already passed through the Strait of Gibraltar and are nearing Venezuela. The tankers hold about 175,000 tons of gasoline, or 1.5 to 2 million gallons needed by Venezuela due to the egregious sanctions on the Bolivarian nation preventing them refining oil into gasoline. The nation needs refinery parts and chemicals to make gasoline from oil that are not obtainable under Western sanctions.
Among other needs, gasoline is also crucial for deliver food, medical aid & supplies, and other crucial items around the nation.
In the past, other nations under Western sanctions have helped one another; for VZ, Russia with shiploads of wheat, Cuba with doctors and medical medical supplies, China with help repairing their hydroelectric power grids after what they’d assume was sabotage by the opposition.
According to Tasmin News, the first vessel is likely to be in Venezuelan territorial waters by Sunday. US Southern Command (SouthCom, headed by Admiral Craig Faller is claiming that their many ships are simply in the Caribbean to interdict narco-traffickers, although the US is claiming (without any facts) that VZ’s Nicolas Maduro is one of them.
SouthCom on Twitter
@Southcom May 19 ‘#SOUTHCOM remains steadfast partners w/ #Colombia as they continue to confront shared security challenges in the region. We applaud their leadership in fighting illicit traffickers & their efforts to strengthen regional partners.’
From the Admiral himself, this ‘Our Neighborhood/Our Backyard’ BS:
Weird; yesterday it was a Zoom talkie like this one about the Evil China:
Now Iran (including the military commanders and President Rouhani has been warning against ‘creating trouble’ for the tankers, and their rhetoric has become more forceful over time.
As of today: ‘Iran President Warns US Not to Create Trouble for Venezuela-Bound Tankers; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the US not to make the mistake of creating trouble for the Iranian oil tankers carrying fuel to Venezuela, stressing that Iran is ready for retaliation although it will never start a conflict’, May, 23, 2020, tasnimnews.com
““If our oil tankers in the Caribbean Sea or anywhere else in the world get into trouble caused by the Americans, they (US) will run into trouble reciprocally,” the Iranian president said in a telephone conversation with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Saturday.
He also underlined that Iran will never start a conflict. “Considering a series of measures, the US has created unacceptable conditions in various parts of the world, however, we will never start tensions and clashes.”
“We always preserve the legitimate right of defense of sovereignty and territorial integrity and fulfillment of the national interests, and we hope the Americans would not make a mistake,” the Iranian president added.
Stressing the need for collective cooperation among nations amid the critical situation in the world in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Rouhani bemoaned the fact the US government is proceeding with “incorrect decisions and inhumane behavior.”
‘Venezuelan Army to Escort Iranian Tankers Bringing Gasoline to Venezuelans Blockaded by US Sanctions’, May 20, 2020, orincotribune.com
“This was announced by the Minister for Defense, Vladimir Padrino López, this Wednesday. “We have established contact with the Minister of Defense of Iran. All these ships, when they enter our exclusive economic zone (370Km), will be escorted by ships and planes of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), to welcome them and say to the Iranian people: thank you for so much solidarity and cooperation!” Minister Padrino López said during the inauguration of the Textile Center of the Bolivarian Army, in Fuerte Tiuna.”
The Bolivarian military had deployed short-range missiles on two northern islands in their territorial waters, but has since deployed their (I assume Russian) S-300 buk missile systems as well.”
From telesur english May 22, 2020: “The Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.), Samuel Moncada, reported on Friday that his government alerted the agency to the “threat of imminent use of military force by the United States (USA) “in the face of the forthcoming arrival of Iranian ships carrying fuel for the Caribbean country.
In the letter sent to Guterres, the diplomat recalled that the imposition of unilateral coercive measures imposed by the Donald Trump Administration prevents Venezuela from acquiring the necessary inputs to refine national crude oil and convert it into gasoline.
Likewise, he explained that “U.S. officials have publicly admitted that they are exerting pressure on companies to refrain from supplying gasoline to Venezuela,” actions that have been denounced with relevant evidence before the U.N.
“Ships with British, Dutch, French and American flags are bordering the coasts of our country, with a hostile and aggressive attitude, under the pretext of an alleged operation to fight drug trafficking. This, while at the same time threatening the imposition illegal of a naval blockade, “denounced the representative of Venezuela to the U.N.
Lastly, Moncada urged the U.N. Security Council to adopt the necessary measures so that the Trump Government puts a definitive and immediate end to its “warmongering and criminal policies,” in order not to generate an increase in the tensions that they place in it threatens the peace, security, and stability of the region.”
This is primo: ‘Bolton Looking for a Job: Now Talking About Humanitarian Iranian Gasoline Tankers Heading to Venezuela’, May 20, 2020, orinocotribue.com
“This Tuesday, John Bolton, who served as Donald Trump’s security adviser, threatened Iran for trying to bypass the illegal naval blockade imposed by the US regime on Venezuela, by sending five tankers loaded with gasoline to alleviate the fuel shortage in Venezuela caused by inhumane sanctions imposed from the United States on the oil industry.
“Iran’s attempt to oppose US priorities must be met with resolve,” Bolton wrote on his Twitter account.”
‘Trump Claims to Have Venezuela ‘Surrounded’ as Iranian Tankers Approach’, May 23, 2020, orincocotribune.com
Yes, Boss Tweet, Mafia Don Pompeo; we know: birds of a feather: maximum pressure until this corrupt Maduro Regime…dies a painful death. So kind of you, Mr. Secretary, to be offering $300 million to help the starving masses in the nation. Now why don’t you demand that the Bank of England surrender the nation’s gold to the Maduro administration? Or have you already handed it off the self-declared ‘Interim President of Venezuela, Juan CIA Guiado to fund your new Bay of Pigs op? Wanted Dead or Alive: Nicolas Maduro!
a brilliant looking man, isn’t he?
here, too (h/t: b at MoA)
How convenient that he and his homie Leopoldo Lopez are safely tucked away in Colombia after their most recent, quite…er…kinetic… failed coup détat.
And last, but not least: ‘Revealed: Secretive British unit planning for ‘reconstruction’ of Venezuela’, John McEvoy, May 13, 2020, thecanary.co
“Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act have exposed a secretive Foreign Office unit aimed at the ‘reconstruction’ of Venezuela. The files also reveal private discussions between Venezuelan opposition figures and UK officials, detailing proposals for the promotion of British business after a planned coup.
UK support for coup attempt in Venezuela
Over the past 16 months, the UK government has consistently supported Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaidó’s attempts to topple the elected government of president Nicolás Maduro.
In late January 2019, for example, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) urged the Bank of England to grant Guaidó access to £1.2bn of Venezuelan gold reserves.
In January 2020, Guaidó travelled to London to meet with UK government officials and shore up international support for his flailing efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan government.”
And a week later: “I was Outraged”: Venezuelan Foreign Minister Responds to Secretive British “Reconstruction” Plans (Interview)’ orinocotribune, May 20
Perhaps you’ll send some good thoughts for the ships to arrive safely in Venezuela?
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)