March 29, 2020: a story line I missed -- Russia, more than ever, now "controls" Venezuela's destiny. The Venezuela-Russia connection, in fact, looks more and more like the Russian-Cuba connection in the 60s. .
6:19 p.m. CT, Saturday, March 28, 2020: just announced. Rosneft (the company that started the OPEC+ spat with Saudi Arabia) just sold all its Venezuelan assets to the Russian government. Huge bailout. Huge. Rosneft isn't holding stranded assets on its book, but will be in a position to buy them back when things are "back to normal." [I was ahead of my headlights on that one, but the very same thing is now being reported over on twitter -- March 29, 2020, 8:47 a..m. CT.] The question is whether Rosneft's former assets will still be producing crude oil for export or if this is Venezuela crude oil taken off the global market. Sources say that operations involving Rosneft's assets will cease immediately. As of January, 2020:
- Venezuela was exporting one million bopd
- in terms of customers, Russia’s Rosneft was the largest receiver and intermediary of Venezuelan oil with 33.5% of total exports, followed by state-run China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and its units with 11%, and Cuba’s state-run Cubametales with 7%.
- Background, from wiki: Igor Ivanovich Sechin is a Russian oligarch and former government official, considered a close ally and "de facto deputy" of Vladimir Putin. Sechin is often described as one of Putin's most conservative counselors and the leader of the Kremlin's Siloviki faction, a lobby gathering former security services agents. Until 21 May 2012, he served as Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in Vladimir Putin's cabinet, and he is currently the Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Management Board of Rosneft, the Russian state oil company. His nickname is Darth Vader.
Later: Russia's bailout of Rosneft suggests a reason other than the one I was led to believe. This is truly a game of chess.