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Venezuela’s allies choose divergent paths

Support from strategic partners Russia and China has helped the Latin American regime endure punishing economic sanctions. But over time their approaches have begun to deviate significantly

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s capacity to retain power depends on multiple factors: an ideologically divided political opposition, strong loyalty among higher ranks of the country’s military and an efficient authoritarian apparatus built to persecute and crush dissent. But, beyond these domestic factors, both China and Russia have been key allies for Venezuela, providing an economic lifeline for the beleaguered former oil giant. Venezuela’s oil industry is far from its heyday. Years of mismanagement, deficient basic services and economic sanctions have all taken their toll. Daily production fell from about 3mn bl/d in 2010 to 362,000bl/d in Q3 last year, the lowest level since 1940.

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