Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has pointed the finger at the United States and allies in "imperial aggression" for waging a "sabotage" campaign against vital fuel shipments as well as humanitarian aid being sent to the country after multiple tankers and shipments were reportedly damaged.
Maduro is reported to have told a meeting with the political leadership of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in Caracas this week that vessels carrying food “were sabotaged and did not leave the ports where they were going to leave.”
"Last week, sabotage was committed against ten tankers [with gasoline] to prevent them from reaching the Venezuelan coast. In any case, this problem is being dealt with and we are stabilizing the situation," Maduro said late on Monday.
He also called the alleged acts of sabotage “torture to the economic body of the country” - however, didn't offer proof, and said further that problems with the fuel and food ships are “in the process of being resolved”. He described that the US and allied nations currently imposing aggressive sanctions on Venezuela were trying to prevent aid from reaching their destination.
“During the last 5 months of imperial aggression, we have endured financial persecutions, sabotage and coup skirmishes,” Maduro had tweeted Monday from his English-language account.
During the last 5 months of imperial aggression, we have endured financial persecutions, sabotage and coup skirmishes. However, we managed to strengthen the Civic-Military union and maintain the call to dialogue, with extremist opposition and with [...] https://t.co/1s0rpjbrNh— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) May 28, 2019
According to shipping news monitoring site Maritime Herald, the allegations followed in the wake of US envoy for Venezuela Elliot Abrams' prior indication that the US would soon sanction Venezuelan leaders accused of profiting off inbound food and fuel shipments subsidized by a government program.
The Maritime Herald report noted:
The head of state also revealed the sabotage to the boats that brought food for the program of products with subsidized prices, known as CLAP (acronym of Local Committees for Supply and Production). “The boats brought by the CLAP were sabotaged and did not leave the ports where they were going to leave,” he said.
Last Thursday, the Bolivarian leader guaranteed to the population of the South American country the continuity of CLAP, despite US threats to sanction the officials involved in the plan.
The report further cited Maduro as saying, “Do whatever you want to do, Venezuela will continue with the CLAP, which stings and extends from the hand of the people, from the national production.”
Last week Russian and Venezuelan officials announced plans for Moscow to ramp up humanitarian aid as well as military supplies to the Maduro government, also citing continuing "coup attempts" on the part of Washington after a failed Guaido opposition led uprising at the end of April.