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Venezuela Helping Syrian Regime Avoid Sanctions on Oil Sold to United States: Report

Refinery in San Nicolas, Aruba. Photographer: Ben Bartenstein/Bloomberg

Oil refinery in Aruba. Photographer: Ben Bartenstein/Bloomberg

Venezuela’s government helped Syria’s Assad regime avoid international sanctions by transporting oil from the Middle East to the United States, Bloomberg reports.

The country reportedly purchased discounted Syrian oil through a Russian company. The oil was then sent to Aruba to refine and distribute in the United States, according to dozens of emails, documents and interviews obtained by the business news site.

Both nations reportedly desired to avoid the international regulations as well as to “antagonize world powers.”


Refinery in San Nicolas, Aruba. Photographer: Ben Bartenstein/Bloomberg

Bashar al-Assad has been sanctioned for six years due to a humanitarian and political crisis that has left him desperate for funds, while Venezuela’s Maduro has been scrambling for financing that will address his own economic crisis.

Venezuela entrepreneur Wilmer Ruperti is at the center of the scandal, having proposed a business group called “Sirius Venezolano” to finalize a contract to supply between 50,000 and 200,000 barrels a day of Syrian crude oil to Venezuela, while storing six million barrels.

To read the full Bloomberg report, click here

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