CARACAS, Thursday July 18, 2013 | Update

US pressures Venezuela to refrain from giving shelter to Snowden, ABC says

US Secretary of State John Kerry allegedly called Vice President Elías Jaua to warn him that if Caracas granted humanitarian asylum to the CIA former agent, Washington would stop selling gasoline and other oil byproducts to Venezuela

Edward Snowden is expected to leave the Moscow airport in the coming days (Efe)
Thursday July 18, 2013  03:39 PM
Since President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro announced his willingness to grant humanitarian asylum to Edward Snowden, a former contractor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who leaked information about US espionage on diplomats worldwide, experts hinted that Washington could retaliate against Caracas. According to information published by the Spanish newspaper ABC, reprisals have begun.

Last week, sources said that the US revoked the visas of Venezuelan senior government officials and entrepreneurs. ABC said the move was related to the Snowden case. The newspaper even suggested that Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly called Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elías Jaua to report on the annulment of the US visas to government officials. Additionally, Kerry allegedly warned Jaua about the possibility of suspending US sale of gasoline and oil byproducts to Venezuela.

While Caracas is one of the leading exporters of crude oil to Washington, Venezuelan oil requires refining and processing.

ABC quoted unidentified sources as saying that the tone in Kerry-Jaua conversation was quite different from that prevailing in a friendly meeting they held in Guatemala in June. Back then, both countries voiced their willingness to resume relations at ambassador level.
The end of a cycle

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil."