Tillerson Believes 'Russian Meddling' in Foreign Elections Difficult to Preempt

Tillerson says US considers Venezuela oil sale restrictions
US appreciates Lima Group's efforts to address Venezuela crisis
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09 February, 2018

"Obviously sanctioning the oil, or in effect prohibiting the oil to be sold in the United States... is something we continue to consider", he told reporters on Sunday.

On Tuesday, Politico reported that "Russian-influenced Twitter accounts" were testing political hashtag campaigns "designed to stoke anger, particularly among supporters of President Donald Trump, against "deep state" forces", citing a website that tracks such accounts. USA wants to understand possible impact on Caribbean.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday warned that Russian Federation is already trying to interfere "in the U.S.in 2018" ahead of the midterm elections, according to Fox News.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson highlighted the work undertaken by the Lima Group -led by Peru's Foreign Affairs Ministry- to deal with the humanitarian and political crisis facing Venezuela.

Responding to a query as to why Jamaica abstained, the prime minister said: "Jamaica did not need to take a position on another country's position on where they would want to see as a capital in the world".

"I don't know that I would say we are better prepared, because the Russians will adapt as well", Tillerson told Fox.

According to the state secretary's statement, "they (Russia) support the (Bashar) Assad regime, they provide air support".

More news: EXTRA: BP Joins Shell In Profit Rise But Also Lifts Oil Production

"The U.S. has to acknowledge that we are the market".

Under Chavez, Venezuela won allies by providing cheap financing for the purchase of the country's oil, helping cash-strapped Caribbean nations and allies including Cuba and Nicaragua circumvent rising energy costs. The two get mixed together in Venezuela and shipped back to the United States.

The decline in oil production is already deepening the misery for 30 million Venezuelans suffering from food shortages and a lack of basic medicines. The latest talks between Maduro's government and the opposition, hosted by the Dominican Republic, broke down again on Wednesday.

And it would also - to the concern of Venezuela's neighbors - hurt ordinary Venezuelans and could be a severe blow to the island economies of the Caribbean, which rely on cheap fuel. "I hope they don't".

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness suggested the region is already moving on following years of dependence on subsidized Venezuelan oil.

Questioned whether Jamaica would support the U.S. position by boycotting Venezuelan oil, Holness responded that Jamaica does not now import the fuel from Venezuela and suggested the USA could be a new source. Any action must be taken to target the Maduro administration, and not the people of Venezuela, he said. The U.S. sends light crude oil to Venezuela, which has heavy crude.


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