Third Iranian fuel cargo approaches Venezuela’s economic zone

The Iranian-flagged oil tanker Fortune (pictured) arrived at the El Palito refinery in Puerto Cabello, in the northern state of Carabobo, Venezuela, on May 25. (AFP)
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Updated 26 May 2020

Third Iranian fuel cargo approaches Venezuela’s economic zone

  • Venezuela's oil minister thanked Iran for support during their domestic crisis
  • Mismanagement of their domestic energy industry has contributed toward Venezuelan reliance on gasoline imports

MARACAY: The third cargo of an Iranian tanker flotilla carrying fuel for gasoline-thirsty Venezuela was approaching the nation’s exclusive economic zone on Tuesday as the previous two were preparing to discharge, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
The Iran-flagged tanker Petunia entered the Caribbean Sea on Monday after crossing the Atlantic Ocean, following the route taken in recent days by vessels Fortune and Forest.
The Fortune was welcomed at state-run PDVSA’s El Palito refinery by Venezuela’s oil minister, Tareck El Aissami, who thanked Iran for its support during the crisis, which has forced Venezuelans to wait in long lines for gasoline.
The deal has been criticized by the United States as both OPEC-member nations are under sanctions. A US official said earlier this month that President Donald Trump’s administration was considering responses to the shipment, prompting the Iranian government to warn Washington against any military action.
The vessels did not appear to encounter any interference during their journey.
The second tanker in the flotilla, the Forest, changed its destination to a port serving PDVSA’s Cardon refinery, where it was expected to dock on Tuesday, according to two sources and the Eikon data showing its trajectory.
As it receives the imports, which include gasoline and components for motor fuel production, PDVSA is working to recover a portion of the domestic refining capacity it has lost in recent years due to mismanagement, lack of qualified personnel and delayed maintenance due to limitations under the US sanctions.
The Venezuelan firm, whose nameplate refining capacity reaches 1.3 million barrels per day, increased crude processing for fuel production to about 215,000 bpd this month, from 110,000 bpd in March, according to sources and internal company data.


Pakistan Hindus rally in Islamabad over India migrant deaths

Updated 25 September 2020

Pakistan Hindus rally in Islamabad over India migrant deaths

  • The dead migrants’ relatives have held small rallies in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province but this was the first time they had taken their demonstration to the country’s capital
  • The protesters accuse India’s secret service of poisoning the 11 Hindus

ISLAMABAD : Pakistan’s minority Hindus rallied late on Thursday in Islamabad, briefly clashing with the police, to protest the deaths of 11 members of a Hindu migrant family who died in India last month under mysterious circumstances.
Since then, the dead migrants’ relatives have held small rallies in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province but this was the first time they had taken their demonstration to the country’s capital, vowing to stage a sit-in near the Indian Embassy.
The protesters accuse India’s secret service of poisoning the 11 Hindus, who were found dead at a farmhouse in India’s Jodhpur district in Rajasthan state. The demonstrators arrived in Islamabad around midnight, chanting, “We want justice.” They briefly skirmished with officers who prevented them from reaching the embassy site.
After the Aug. 9 deaths, Indian media reports suggested the Hindu family members, originally from Pakistan, had taken their own lives. Official Islamabad says New Delhi had not shared any reports of the case.
Thursday’s rally was an unusual move for Pakistan’s Hindus, who have mostly lived without conflict with the country’s predominantly Muslim majority. Earlier this year under pressure from radical Muslims, Pakistani authorities halted construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad.
Ramesh Kumar, a top leader of the Hindu community who led Thursday’s protest, met on Wednesday with Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, seeking his help in pressuring India to release results of the initial police probe into the case.
Pakistan has also asked for access to a Hindu worker who was at the Jodhpur farm at the time of the deaths, according to government officials.
In his meeting with Qureshi, Kumar said Shrimati Mukhi, the daughter of the head of the family that died, had levelled the poisoning accusations. She earlier this month told local media that India allegedly pressured the family to issue a statement denouncing Pakistan’s government. There was no official comment from India on the allegations.
Last week, Pakistan summoned an Indian diplomat to convey concerns over the “Jodhpur incident.” A subsequent ministry statement said India had “failed to share any substantive details regarding the cause and circumstances of the deaths” of the Hindus and asked for a comprehensive investigation.
Nuclear armed rivals Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations. Pakistan’s military said Wednesday that two of its soldiers were killed by Indian fire in a cease-fire violation in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. The region is split between the two countries but claimed by both in its entirety. India and Pakistan have fought two out of their three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence in 1947.

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