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Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela has long been in the crosshairs of Washington DC. There have been a number of failed coups and even the American and EU installation of Juan Guaido a puppet president in exile.
Volte face: Washington has sent a delegation of high-ranking officials to Caracas. They hope that they will be able to distance the government of Nicolás Maduro, which is still under US sanctions, from Vladimir Putin and achieve the resumption of Venezuelan oil supplies to the United States, writes The New York Times.
The day before, high-ranking US officials, including employees of the State Department and the White House, travelled to Venezuela to meet with the government of President Nicolas Maduro. All of this is happening as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to separate Russia from its remaining international allies amid a worsening Ukrainian crisis, writes The New York Times.
In 2019, Washington severed diplomatic relations with Caracas, accusing Venezuela’s leader of electoral fraud. A bit rich coming from the present Washington clique. The Trump administration then tried to overthrow Maduro by imposing eye-watering sanctions on oil exports and supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido as the ‘legitimately elected president.’
Americans whooped for joy as sanctions brought starvation and distress to their former friends. As a result of US sanctions, the Venezuelan government had to seek economic and diplomatic assistance from Moscow, as well as from Tehran and Beijing. Russian energy companies and banks helped Caracas, allowing him to continue exporting oil despite sanctions.
The Russian sting operation in Ukraine has prompted the US to take a closer look at Vladimir Putin’s allies in Latin America. According to Washington, they may pose a ‘security threat in the event of a deepening confrontation’ with Moscow.
Dream on: the US authorities are counting on the ‘collapse’ of the Russian economy. They are ‘seizing the opportunity to advance their agenda among Latin American authoritarians, who may begin to view Putin as an weakening ally.’
This month, the United States and its allies have considered imposing sanctions on Russian oil and gas exports and need replacements. (Have you seen oil prices in the US?) Prominent representatives of the leading American parties have suggested Venezuela as a potential replacement.
Former Republican congressman Scott Taylor participated in the negotiations on the resumption of purchases of Venezuelan oil. He works with Washington-based lobbyist Robert Strick, who in 2020 briefly represented the Maduro government and still keeps in touch with his circle.
Taylor said he spoke to a Venezuelan businessman the other day who signalled that the Maduro team was looking to ‘re-engage’ with the US. ‘We must seize this opportunity to achieve a diplomatic victory and drive a wedge between Russia and Venezuela,’ the ex-congressman said.
Former Fox Business host Trish Regan urged Washington to ally with Caracas to ‘push Russian oil out of the US market. Venezuela has the biggest source of oil reserves, are we going to give it to the Chinese and Russians,’ she wondered.
Shortly before the start of the special operation in Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Yuri Borisov travelled to Caracas to meet with representatives of Maduro. Both governments have said that Putin and his Venezuelan counterpart have held at least two telephone calls in the past month.
Prior to the imposition of US sanctions, Venezuela shipped most of its fuel to the Gulf Coast to the United States. According to some experts, the Latin American country will be able to partially make up for the losses of the United States if they decide to reduce imports of Russian oil.
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The head of Venezuela, apparently, is ready to discuss oil deals with Washington. ‘Here lies the oil of Venezuela, which is available to anyone who wants to extract and buy it, whether it is an investor from Asia, Europe or the United States,’ he said in a public speech this week.
Meanwhile, Maduro and Moscow’s other Latin American allies ‘began to distance themselves’ from the conflict in Ukraine. Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba abstained or did not vote on two UN resolutions that condemned the Russian special operation. PLEASE SHARE OUR STORIES.
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Categories: Current Events