On Thursday night, a senior administration official told reporters that the United States would lift some sanctions against Venezuela, mainly the country’s oil and gas sector, in exchange for electoral reforms.
This action follows an agreement between the administration and the opposition in Venezuela to have international observers present during the upcoming election.
According to the Biden aide, this deal represents the best chance for free and fair elections, the return of democracy, and resolving the humanitarian situation in the South American country.
The person said that the sanctions relief the United States will grant will be temporary and will only cover the oil and gas industry. The other restrictions and penalties that the United States has imposed on the country will also continue, the source added.
They maintained that punishments are meant to bring about good changes in the long run.
To force Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from office, the Trump administration placed multiple sanctions on the country’s state-owned oil industry in 2019.
The United States has condemned Maduro’s reelection in 2018 as fraudulent.
Earlier this week, rumors suggested that sanctions may be lifted. The Republican Party vehemently opposed the plan. Condemning oil as killing the planet and killing oil sector jobs in America but buying the oil from other countries (which do not adhere to America’s safety standards and environmental responsibility) is hypocritical.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said this week that the current administration is turning to countries like Venezuela and Iran, which run genocidal regimes, for oil when Biden should put America first and build our energy independence.
However, oil production in the United States has reached a record high lately, but there is always room for growth.
Meanwhile, turmoil in the Middle East has increased uncertainty in the oil market, which has led to the lifting bans on oil exports. If Iran is proven to have had a hand in the latest attack on Israel, experts predict that oil prices will rise.