Venezuela oil minister says authorities disrupt plan to attack refinery

(Reuters) - Venezuela's Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami said on Friday that authorities had disrupted a plan to attack Venezuela's 146,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) El Palito refinery, and had arrested two suspects in the plot. El Aissami alleged, without providing evidence, that the planned attack had the support of the Colombian and U.S. governments.

Reuters December 12, 2020 01:10:39 IST
Venezuela oil minister says authorities disrupt plan to attack refinery

Venezuela oil minister says authorities disrupt plan to attack refinery

(Reuters) - Venezuela's Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami said on Friday that authorities had disrupted a plan to attack Venezuela's 146,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) El Palito refinery, and had arrested two suspects in the plot.

El Aissami alleged, without providing evidence, that the planned attack had the support of the Colombian and U.S. governments. Bogota, Washington and dozens of other countries do not recognize Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as the country's rightful leader, arguing he rigged his 2018 re-election.

"This terrorist plan was prepared in Colombia," El Aissami said. "It is also important to denounce that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency had knowledge of the plan and advised the terrorists involved."

El Aissami said the alleged attackers also planned to blow up a pipeline supplying gasoline from the refinery to the Yagua fuel sorting station. El Palito halted gasoline output earlier this month.

The announcement comes as the once-prosperous OPEC nation suffers chronic gasoline shortages due to years of underinvestment and lack of maintenance at its 1.3 million bpd refining network, as well as U.S. sanctions disrupting fuel imports,

In October, President Nicolas Maduro said the country's 645,000 bpd Amuay refinery was hit by a "terrorist attack."

Venezuela's opposition has in the past accused the government of making false claims of sabotage to critical infrastructure to distract from its mismanagement of public services.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Marguerita Choy)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Some Israeli Arabs, Jerusalem Palestinians wary of vaccine
World

Some Israeli Arabs, Jerusalem Palestinians wary of vaccine

UMM AL-FAHM, Israel (Reuters) - As Israel leads the world in the rate of coronavirus vaccination, some of its Arab citizens and Palestinians in annexed East Jerusalem are regarding the shot with suspicion. In what officials see as a result of misinformation about possible side effects or supposed malicious properties, turnout for vaccines has been low among Arabs, who make up 21% of Israel's population, and Jerusalem Palestinians. "I will not be vaccinated because I don't know what is in there

No diplomatic ties to Qatar yet, but trade, travel resuming, says UAE
World

No diplomatic ties to Qatar yet, but trade, travel resuming, says UAE

By Lisa Barrington DUBAI (Reuters) - Arab states boycotting Qatar could resume travel and trade links with Doha within a week under a U.S.-backed deal, but restoring diplomatic ties requires more time as parties work to rebuild trust, a United Arab Emirates official said on Thursday. Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia announced the breakthrough in ending a bitter dispute at a summit on Tuesday, with its foreign minister saying Riyadh and its allies would restore all ties with Doha severed in mid-2017. UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told a virtual news conference that measures to be implemented within a week of the agreement "include practical measures of airlines, shipping and trade".

U.S. airlines, airports tighten security in DC-area after unrest
World

U.S. airlines, airports tighten security in DC-area after unrest

By Tracy Rucinski (Reuters) - U.S airlines and law enforcement agencies have bolstered security at Washington-area airports on Thursday after supporters of President Donald Trump caused mayhem in the U.S. capital in an attempt to overturn his election loss.