Venezuela: Ambassador To Italy Resigns Over Financial Difficulties

The Venezuelan ambassador to Italy has left his position, saying his decision came over financial difficulties. Ambassador Isaias Rodriguez addressed a letter, which was posted on social media, to former president Nicolas Maduro.

The letter confirmed his support for Maduro and his party but it explained that the sanctions imposed by the United States make his job impossible. The letter comes just days after the ambassador said during a press conference in Rome that the sanctions had left them without money. He explained that they no longer had the money to pay for the salaries and the rent of the office in the city. According to reports, the country has a debt of around 9 million euros.

Rodriguez pointed at the sanctions as the main reason for the financial problems. Rodriguez also said that he wanted to dedicate his time to being a grandfather. The US government has repeatedly imposed sanctions against PSUV officials and companies.

The majority of the sanctions came after the government introduced a constituent assembly. The constituent assembly was created following the loss of the government in the national assembly election in late 2015.

Maduro has proposed an early election for the national assembly. The opposition has said it only wants to negotiate his exit from power. Venezuela’s interim president Juan Guaido wants to hold a presidential election once Maduro is out of power.

Rodriguez also said that he leaves his position without money, adding that his wife has sold her clothes given to her by her previous husband to survive. He said he is trying to sell the car he bought when he arrived to the embassy since he does not have a bank account because of the sanctions.

Maduro and PSUV officials blame the country’s situation on the US sanctions. Reports say the US government is planning to bring more sanctions against programs created by them. The sanctions have frozen assets of officials and prevented US companies from doing business with state companies.

The US has also pressured countries into stopping purchases from the South American nation. Back in March, the biggest private oil refiner in India announced that it would no longer purchase oil from the country. The company also told AFP that it would stop the export of diluents to Venezuela. The company added that it would not resume the purchase and exports until the sanctions were lifted by the US.

India became one of the biggest oil buyers after Venezuela was hit with sanctions. The pressure from the US ended all of that since it put the company at risk of receiving sanctions from the US. India warned other companies about doing the same since it could lead to sanctions.

Earlier this year, the US also warned Turkey after reports revealed that the country was purchasing gold. Gold has become one of the last economic lifelines of Maduro since the sanctions are mostly against the oil sector.

Rodriguez’s letter comes at a time in which Maduro and Guaido are locked in a battle for power. Maduro has proposed an early national assembly election while the opposition, including Guaido, want him to step away from power.

Yesterday, Maduro celebrated the anniversary of the controversial presidential election in which he won by a record margin, even though estimates had him at low levels of popularity. The election was held without many of the opposition candidates, including Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles. The opposition and experts have doubted the results, with many calling the election, which was moved up to early 2018, a fraud.