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U.S. oil refiners push back on potential economic sanctions against Venezuela

U.S. oil refiners push back on potential economic sanctions against Venezuela

Nine U.S. companies including Chevron (CVX +0.1%), Valero Energy (VLO -1.4%) and Phillips 66 (PSX -0.6%) now process Venezuelan crude in more than 20 U.S. refineries, many of them designed for the type of heavy crude that Venezuela exports, and replacing those supplies would be disruptive and costly.

Venezuela's Constitution calls for a mechanism such as the ANC to amend constitutional laws and reorganize the state to improve government.

National Assembly president Julio Borges, leader of the country's opposition, has sent more than a dozen letters to leading global banks warning them of the risk to their reputations and bottom line if they throw a lifeline to Mr Maduro.

This new "superbody" is in fact a superbody for Maduro because all 545 representatives are Socialist Party members or sympathizers, meaning we can look forward to a lot of 545-0 votes out of this laughable exercise in democracy. The massive street protests seen before the election of the assembly have lost steam while anti-Maduro activists try to draw up a strategy for the future. The assembly has already sacked the attorney general who opposed its creation as unconstitutional.

The developments fuelled tensions that have been flaring in Venezuela for the past four months.

A small group of young people set up barricades of strewn metal objects in the eastern Caracas district of El Hatillo on Thursday to protest against the Supreme Court decision to order mayor David Smolansky imprisoned for 15 months for not obeying orders to shut down the protests. More than 120 people have been killed in the unrest.

Both Smolansky and Muchacho were barred from holding public office.

The protests have lost steam in the past week as security forces have stepped up repression and demonstrators have grown discouraged by the opposition's failure to bring about change.

"We will never cede to foreign powers", he said.

He also highlighted the opposition political parties have registered candidates for the regional elections scheduled for next December 10 and are ready to participate in democratic elections.

"To all the presidents, I call on them to approve a meeting and through mutual dialogue, we can find a solution", said Maduro.

The opposition-controlled congress rejects the legitimacy of the new body.

After the Treasury Department announced direct sanctions on Maduro last week, he poked fun at Trump for becoming president through the electoral college but losing the popular vote in the November election.

"Venezuela can't be sanctioned by anything or anybody", he said.