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LatinNews Daily - 13 January 2021

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In brief: Maduro outlines Venezuela’s economic struggles in 2020

* The de facto Venezuelan government led by Nicolás Maduro has confirmed that state revenue totalled just US$743m in 2020, down by 98.6% compared with 2013, when revenue totalled US$56.6bn. Reporting to the new national assembly on Venezuela’s economic performance last year, Maduro attributed “the sharpest decline in external income in our history” to the imposition of international economic sanctions, lamenting this “economic asphyxiation, the closure of external financing, and the blocking of external income”. He highlighted that declining oil profits have been the main cause of the loss of government revenue – in 2015 Venezuela was producing over 2.8m barrels of oil per day (bpd), but this figure has fallen as production capacities have decreased and exports dried up, and took a further hit as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, declining from 882,000 bpd in January 2020 to just 367,000 bpd in October, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec). Maduro assured the national assembly that efforts to reform the country’s oil sector will see this figure rise to 1.5m bpd by the end of 2021.