To remind, about 26 people were reportedly killed in protest marches in late January, as a result from a 'growing discontent', according to BBC, with the UN warning that the situation could spiral out of control.

In this context, Trump's decision to impose sanctions was meant to undercut support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

As previously reported, a flotilla loaded with approximately 7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil was formed in the Gulf of Mexico as of 5 February.

While the sanctions have not affected flows to Asia, it is unclear what will happen with several other Venezuelan cargoes anchored off Europe and in the Caribbean, as well as others en route to countries including Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands, Reuters said in its latest update.

Last week, some European customers of Venezuela’s state-run oil firm PDVSA put purchases of Venezuelan crude on hold, as new sanctions from the European Union loomed, Reuters also reported. Meanwhile, PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters on Saturday.

Venezuela’s crude exports fell to 1.275 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, from 1.37 million the month before, Eikon data reveal.