The White House is stalling any plans to sanction oil from Venezuela, as communities in Florida and Texas recover from recent hurricanes.
The Trump administration has been pressuring Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government through economic and financial sanctions for undermining democracy, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The White House is eager to tighten the noose on Maduro, but not at the expense of American motorists,” a former National Security Council official told McClatchy.
The U.S. imposed its third and toughest set of sanctions on the socialist regime last month. They blocked Venezuela from borrowing from American creditors and cut off Citgo, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, from sending profits back to the country, McClatchy reports.
“We will not allow the United States’ financial system to participate in the underwriting of the Maduro dictatorship,” a senior Trump administration official told WSJ at the time. “We’re closing off his access to the markets for the financing he has been using to prop up his regime and to fund the security apparatus that is repressing the Venezuelan people.”
Administration officials are considering implementing more sanctions in the future, but after the American oil industry has recovered from damage done by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
“As these refineries shut down, to actually simultaneously cut off Venezuelan crude coming into the United States would have pretty heavy impact,” energy consulting group Rapidan’s managing director Scott Modell told McClatchy. “Everyone said, ‘This is going to be bad enough on the U.S. side, let’s let everyone recover, let the refineries come back on line, stabilize, and then we’ll consider more sanctions down the road.'”
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