July 25, 2017

PRIORITIES: As chaos envelops Venezuela, Caracas spends millions on lobbyists in Washington.

“The costs for representation is a drop in the bucket when compared to the potential economic loss” of oil sanctions, said C.J. Gimenez, the son of Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez and a lobbyist who left Avenue Strategies, a firm started by former campaign aides, after the firm decided to pick up Citgo as a client.

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil market could have major financial implications for the Maduro regime and for average Venezuelans. Although Venezuelan crude makes up a small fraction — about 8 percent in 2016 — of all U.S. oil imports, the U.S. buys nearly half of Venezuela’s oil, and oil revenues account for 95 percent of Venezuela’s export earnings, according to OPEC.

Gimenez said Venezuela’s greatest asset is its oil and that Maduro “uses it to fund his continued existence.”

Frack that.