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Web Alert: Venezuela Economic and Political Instability

20 February 2019

The economic and political instability of Venezuela continues to deteriorate, creating an increased risk environment for vessels trading there. The decision of the US and other countries to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela, followed by the imposition of sanctions on PDSVA, is adding further pressure to the country. The sanctions will affect importation of refined products and export of crude oil, affecting one of the last sources of revenue open to the Maduro government. Food and fuel shortages as a result are likely to lead to further civil unrest and potential breakdown in law and order. The Maduro government appears unlikely to give up power and the threat of civil war or similar conflict cannot be ruled out.

All members are advised to consider carefully the conditions at Venezuelan ports and anchorages before proceeding. Crewmembers are recommended to be particularly vigilant. Instances of armed robbery, bribery and other crimes are increasing and this trend is set to continue.

The Strike Club’s dedicated risk map will continue to be updated with information on the risk environment as it develops.