Biden Administration Imposing New Oil Sanctions On Venezuela.

Photo: Pixabay. An oil rig in action. The US has renewed oil sanctions on Venezuela.
- Advertisement -

The Biden administration is reimposing oil sanctions on Venezuela, following President Nicolas Maduro’s broken post-election promises for democratic reform.

It is not immediately apparent how this might affect Caribbean nations that obtain a significant amount of petrol and diesel fuel and cooking gas from Venezuela.

The administration will give companies 45 days to “wind down” business in Venezuela’s oil and gas sector.

“We are concerned that Maduro and his representatives prevented the democratic opposition from registering the candidate of their choice, harassed and intimidated political opponents, and unjustly detained numerous political actors and members of civil society,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement Wednesday.

In October, the U.S. provided Maduro’s government with relief from sanctions on its state-controlled oil, gas and mining sectors, on the condition that it collaborate with opposition members to organize a genuinely open and competitive presidential election. Maduro’s party, however, manipulated the proceedings, including barring former lawmaker Maria Corina Machado from running.

“It became impossible for the White House to pretend that the Maduro government in any way was complying — or even intended to comply — with the implicit deal in the partial lifting of sanctions,” Christopher Sabatini, a research fellow at the Chatham House in London, told The Associated Press. “To have ignored that would have made the U.S. look weak and undermined its credibility in leveraging sanctions not just on Venezuela but elsewhere.”

Biden’s aides had decided on renewing the sanctions amid concerns about whether the move could boost global oil prices or increase the flow of Venezuelan migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border during a presidential election year.

Venezuelan officials said they were ready for renewed sanctions in the oil sector. The easing of sanctions gave the country an opportunity to rebuild its production capacity.

Analysts believe the new sanctions will put a ceiling on Venezuela’s crude oil production and growth unless individual authorizations are granted. For example, Chevron, the last major U.S. oil driller in Venezuela, will not be affected by the sanctions because of its independent authorization.

“We are prepared commercially,” Oil Minister Pedro Tellechea told reporters earlier on Wednesday at the Caracas headquarters of state oil firm PDVSA. “Logistically, we will continue producing.”

Source: VOA
- Advertisement -