Biden Admin To Reinstate Oil Sanctions On Venezuela

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Nick Pope Contributor
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The Biden administration is reimposing oil sanctions on Venezuela after attempting to exchange relief for a promise to allow free and fair elections.

The administration will not renew sanctions relief for Venezuela’s oil sector after the initial six-month period expires Thursday, as U.S. officials have deemed that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his regime did not live up to his end of the sanctions relief-for-democracy deal brokered by the U.S. in October 2023, according to the State Department. Maduro and his regime suspended the primary election victory of a potentially formidable challenger just weeks after signing the so-called “Barbados Agreement” and continued to harass opposition politicians and supporters while the Biden administration eased sanctions.

“Despite delivering on some of the commitments made under the Barbados electoral roadmap, 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,” the State Department said in a statement. “We again call on Maduro to allow all candidates and parties to participate in the electoral process and release all political prisoners without restrictions or delay.” (RELATED: Socialist Dictatorship Threatens To Use Border Crisis To Wrangle Concessions From Biden)

Congressional Republicans slammed the administration’s decision to provide oil sanctions relief shortly after it was announced, characterizing it as a senseless move in light of the administration’s numerous actions to restrict oil production at home and a choice that would only empower a dictator.

“The Biden administration has its head in the sand. Nicolas Maduro is an illegitimate dictator who wields power by starving his people,” Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana previously told the DCNF. “No amount of financial incentive will ever convince him to change his ways. This action weakens U.S. national security while also reinforcing Maduro’s yoke of tyranny over the people of Venezuela.”

Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming expressed similar sentiments in October 2023 as well.

“Joe Biden’s energy policies put America last. On day one, he killed the Keystone XL pipeline. In week one, he blocked new federal oil and natural gas leasing. By year two, he sold off 40% of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – taking it to its lowest level in forty years,” Barrasso said in a statement at the time. “His latest gimmick is to ease sanctions on Nicolas Maduro’s brutal regime in Venezuela. America should never beg for oil from socialist dictators or terrorists.”

The White House referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to a Thursday post post to X by National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson when reached for comment.

Because Maduro & his representatives have not fully met the commitments made under the electoral roadmap agreement, [the Treasury Department‘]s General License 44 authorizing transactions related to oil or gas sector operations in Venezuela expired at 12:01 AM on 4/18,” Watson’s post states.

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