Joe Biden’s government rejected oil imports from Venezuela on Thursday, two days after it announced it would ease sanctions related to Venezuela’s crude oil ban, effective from 2019.
“The United States does not import oil from Iran or Venezuela,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granhome told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Republican Sen. Rick Scott questioned Jennifer’s increase in petrol prices, which has caused growing dissatisfaction in the United States, accusing the Biden administration of not allowing oil exploration in the national territory but of seeking crude oil from Iran or Venezuela.
“Why would anyone want to do business with Maduro who committed genocide against his own citizens and millions of people should leave Venezuela because he led the country into famine?” Cronhome scolded.
Washington announced on Tuesday that it was “easing sanctions” on Caracas in a bid to encourage renewed dialogue between Maduro and the opposition, which began last August to tackle the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
In March, a US delegation flew to Caracas after Biden banned Russian oil imports due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the time, the White House denied that it planned to resume Washington’s purchase of Venezuelan crude oil, vetoed by Maduro for a second term after questionable elections.
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