MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. The losses sustained by Venezuela because of the US economic blockade imposed on the country between 2015 and 2018 amount to $130 billion, Venezuelan ambassador to Russia Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa told a press conference on Tuesday.
"As a result of the economic blockade imposed on Venezuela by the United States, the country sustained losses estimated to be around $130 billion in 2015-2018," he said. "With these funds our country could carry on for nine years."
"The government of our President Nicolas Maduro is fighting a very asymmetric war against the most powerful country in the world in economic and military regards - the US," the diplomat underlined.
The relations between the US and Venezuela exacerbated on January 23, when Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States, most of the EU states, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him. Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.
Since the beginning of 2019, the US authorities introduced a number of restrictive measures against Venezuela, including the largest state companies. On April 17, US National Security Advisor John Bolton announced new sanctions imposed on the Venezuelan Central Bank aimed at "restricting U.S. transactions with the bank and cutting off the bank’s access to U.S. currency.".