February 1, 2023
The United States eased sanctions against Venezuela after an agreement between the government and the opposition

The United States eased sanctions against Venezuela after an agreement between the government and the opposition

The United States hailed an agreement reached in Mexico this Saturday (26) between the Venezuelan government and the opposition that allowed for the immediate release of Washington’s economic sanctions on Venezuela.

“We, along with the international community, welcome the resumption of talks between the two parties,” said a senior US government official on the resumption of talks in Mexico after nearly a year and a half.

The deal represents “major steps in the right direction” in Venezuela, minutes after Chevron received sanctions relief along with Washington’s permission to partially resume its oil extraction operations in the Caribbean nation.

According to the Treasury Department, Chevron can partially resume operations at its joint venture with state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) if it guarantees that “PdVSA will not receive revenues from petroleum sales made by Chevron.” “.

This partial suspension of sanctions “reflects long-standing U.S. policy aimed at lifting sanctions subject to firm progress” that would ease the suffering of the Venezuelan people and allow “support for a return to democracy” for Venezuela, the Treasury commented.

The State Department, for its part, said other sanctions remain in place and the US will continue to enforce them “vigorously”.

The agreement between the government and the opposition would free Venezuelan resources blocked abroad, according to Caracas, who did not specify where these resources are located or their value.

A staunch opponent of easing pressure on Caracas, influential Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called Saturday’s deal “an urgent and necessary step to address the misery and suffering of the Venezuelan people.”

However, Menendez insisted he had “no illusions” about Nicolás Maduro’s “sudden willingness” to act “in the interests of his people”.

Venezuela is subject to economic sanctions by the United States and Europe, which were adopted to encourage Maduro to leave power, but at the same time worsened the economic crisis that hit the country without achieving the desired results.

Talks resumed in May with the easing of some US sanctions following Russia’s aggression on Ukraine and its impact on oil prices.

The U.S. government has already publicly acknowledged that Venezuelan oil would be beneficial in a context of high prices on the international market and strong inflation in the United States.

(AFP)