CARACAS, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez on Friday equated U.S. economic sanctions against the South American country to "extortion measures."
The United States has imposed 502 unilateral coercive measures, or sanctions, against Venezuela, Rodriguez told the 25th International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Most of the sanctions have been "directed" at the country's oil sector, government finances and food, she said, adding there has been an 87 percent drop in Venezuela's oil output as a result, leading to economic losses of some 140 billion U.S. dollars.
In 2020, the sanctions completely blocked the country's ability to commercialize crude oil, which for decades has been the main source of foreign revenue for Venezuela, said Rodriguez.
Those who apply sanctions benefit from the "illegitimate appropriation of countries' resources," so the United States is unlikely to lift them any time soon, she added.
Thanks to the productive effort of the Venezuelan people, the country has been able to withstand the impact of the sanctions, she said, noting that Venezuela went from importing 80 percent of its food to producing 93 percent of what it consumes. ■