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            february 20, 2019

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Venezuelan ports operate 'normally' despite meltdown, US sanctions


Major Venezuelan ports are maintaining normal operations in spite of the nation's ongoing economic and political crisis confounded by the imposition of US sanctions on oil producer PDVSA, says leading shipping lawyer Jose Alfredo Sabatino Pizzolante, although he warns the situation could change any given day.
Political tensions have reduced truck availability, thereby hampering the discharge of bulkers and leading to longer dwell times, other than that the situation is calm, with ports handling Petroleos de Venezuela tankers are working normally at present, says the man who acts as correspondent for P&I Clubs worldwide and is a member of the Comite Maritime International.
According to Mr Pizzolante, most terminals are either state-owned or state-managed, and some commercial ports are even under military control and thus operating without impediment, reported Lloyd's List.
Top ports, such as Puerto Cabello, La Guaira, Amuay and Jose, have not been caught up in the protests, which have mainly been focused at the capital Caracas and other non-port cities. Major oil facilities at Maracaibo, Punta Cardon Amuay and Jose Terminals are also said to be working normally.

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