Vienna, July 31 (IANS) Oil prices hit a two-month high on Monday following reports that the US government could hit Venezuela with sanctions over holding a controversial constitutional assembly election called by President Nicolas Maduro.
Brent crude jumped to $52.85 per barrel, its highest level since late May, and US crude was back over the $50/barrel mark, reports the Guardian.
The surge came after US officials expressed anger over the election held in Venezuela on Sunday to choose delegates for its assembly, and to rewrite the constitution.
Critics claimed that the vote was designed to shore up Maduro’s government.
It was marred by violent clashes between opposition supporters and troops, with at least 10 deaths and over 400 others injured.
Earlier on Sunday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned Maduro that the result was not acceptable.
UK Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan said he was “appalled” by the events in Venezuela.
“Appalled by sham-democratic Constituent Assembly in Venezuela, and yet more tragic deaths. Urgent negotiation needed to tackle crisis,” he tweeted on Monday.