Venezuela CRISIS: Maduro vows to increase gold extraction despite CRIPPLING US sanctions

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Amid economic turmoil, domestic crisis and recent sanctions from the US, Maduro insisted that he would increase the production of gold by three times on Wednesday. He also pledged to extract an additional one million barrels of oil a day in order to improve the country’s economic conditions. Washington has recently put heavy sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry in order to try and force Maduro out of government.

Maduro said: “These difficulties are for us a chance for exemplary economic development in Venezuela.

“We have a challenge, which is an additional increase in oil production by one million barrels.

“Thus, our economy will receive additional financial resources.

“We have a plan to increase the extraction of gold three times, as well as gas, steel, iron and aluminium.”

READ MORE: Venezuela crisis: Maduro digs heels in

Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves but has seen its exports drop by almost 400,000 barrels a day since Donald Trump’s imposed sanctions.

Last month, Trump approved sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA.

The sanctions blocked the company’s assets worth £5.4billion ($7billion) white the White House also forecasts that the company will lose another £8.5billion ($11billion).

In response to the US sanctions, Maduro has also blocked any humanitarian aid entering the country.

READ MORE: Venezuelans FURIOUS with Jeremy Corbyn’s response to crisis

He has also labelled trump’s government as a “gang of extremists” and blamed the US for the country’s crisis.

Continuing his offensive on foreign powers, Maduro has accused the Bank of England of withholding “billions of dollars” of Venezuelan gold.

He argued: “They have sequestered billions of dollars in gold in London that is ours – that is money to buy supplies, raw materials, food, medicines.

“They have sequestered £1.09billion ($1.4billion) for many months which is ours.”

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