The Venezuelan military has announced that it will escort Iranian oil tankers delivering much-needed fuel and prevent any attempts by the US to stop them.
At the moment, at least five tankers are on the high seas and are due to dock in the coming few days.
Venezuela’s defence ministry said it would welcome the ships into its exclusive economic zone, which extends about 200 nautical miles from its shores.
The US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, said the importation of fuel clearly demonstrated the mismanagement of Venezuela’s oil industry by President Nicolás Maduro’s government.
Venezuela’s oil production has plummeted in the last two decades despite having the world’s largest reserves. The fuel shortage has pushed the country into a deep economic crisis.