Spanish – The Iranian ship Golsan, which arrived in Venezuela to supply food to the country’s first Persian supermarket, also made a stop at the Orinoco Mining Arc, allegedly to load itself with minerals exploited from the south of the country.
Congressman Américo De Grazia denounced on social media that Iranians are plundering the South American country, taking gold, and violating Venezuelan sovereignty.
#VenezuelaSaqueada por terroristas, Iraníes se llevan el #OroDeSangre y vulnera la soberanía. Ocupan el territorio y financian al Hezbollah y el Hamas a cambio de garantizarle a Maduro la permanencia en el poder. https://t.co/PGBElZttmO
— Americo De Grazia (@AmericoDeGrazia) August 26, 2020
“Venezuela plundered by terrorists. Iranians take the #BloodGold and violate sovereignty. They occupy the territory and finance Hezbollah and Hamas in exchange for guaranteeing Maduro a permanence in power,” he pointed stated.
The Conflicts News Worldwide (@ConflictsW) Twitter account, specializing in military issues, reported that the Iranian ship (Golsan) that brought “food and supplies” to Venezuela returned to Iran on August 21. It spent two months in Venezuela.
According to the report, the ship spent most of its time anchored in La Guaira—the country’s main port—before spending almost 2 weeks in Matanzas, near Ciudad Guayana, where Venezuela’s Mining Arc is located.
The Iranian ship (Golsan) that brought the “food and supplies’ to Venezuela for the opening of the Iranian supermarket in Caracas is only just heading back to Iran. It spent 2 months in Venezuela…#Venezuela #Iran pic.twitter.com/X7L53DMmVe
— CNW (@ConflictsW) August 24, 2020
Conflicts News Worldwide raised the possibility that the ship “picked up a consignment of gold or other minerals, before its return to Iran.”
“It is strange that the ship has spent so much time in Venezuela considering that the only official statement about it was that it was delivering supplies to the Iranian supermarket,” say the geolocation experts.
According to the newspaper, El Carabobeño, the Golsan was also reportedly carrying an “important shipment” delivered in the state of Bolivar. It is presumed that it is Venezuelan gold.
Until 2013, Venezuela was among the first 30 countries in the world with the largest monetary gold reserves; but now those reserves have disappeared thanks to Nicolas Maduro’s regime and indiscriminate management.
The Central Bank of Venezuela, managed by Chavismo, according to a report by Runrun.es, became “the axis of an ecosystem that is suspected of money laundering, sanctions and millionaire businesses that have also included gold resources extracted from the controversial Orinoco Mining Arc.”
Iran appropriates Venezuelan gold
A Bloomberg report revealed that Iran has received tons of gold bars and has also taken them out of the South American country on Mahan Air flights.
Iran has reportedly become the latest destination for Venezuelan gold after the United States blocked agreements that Maduro had with other allies such as Russia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
With mounting international sanctions and low oil prices, the Nicolás Maduro regime has run out of cash to pay its commitments. So it is now turning to gold reserves to pay off its debts.
The United States has alleged that the sale of gold has become a way for Venezuela to evade U.S. sanctions.
The Republic’s gold reserves have dropped by 30%. While the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) is selling the ore without reporting it. There is also the phenomenon of gold extraction from the Mining Arc without any control or reporting.
In recent months, Maduro’s regime has devoted itself to looting the BCV, gradually extracting dozens of tons of gold to sell abroad and raise cash to stay in power. The “under the table” sales of ingot without the approval of the legitimate National Assembly of Venezuela are one of the few ways the dictatorship has to earn cash, stay in power, and pay part of its internal and external debts.
Gold in exchange for refineries
Maduro’s frontman, Alex Saab, is allegedly responsible for the business between Venezuela and Iran that involves the payment of gold in exchange for supplies to produce gasoline. A Bloomberg report revealed that Saab traveled to Tehran with top PDVSA executives to strike a deal whereby Iran sends gasoline additives, parts, and technicians to the South American nation in exchange for gold.
As a part of this trade relationship, the Maduro regime has sent some 9 tons of gold -worth about 500 million USD- on aircraft owned by the Tehran-based carrier Mahan Air. The shipments caused a sudden drop in Venezuela’s published foreign reserves figures, leaving the country with only 6.3 billion USD in foreign exchange assets, the lowest amount in three decades.