Venezuela Seeks Oil Tankers Amid Potential Lift of U.S. Sanctions

U.S. officials and members of the Maduro regime had held secret talks about the relaxation of sanctions

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 “State-owned PDVSA is in talks to buy and lease several oil tankers amid a possible expansion of exports, according to three sources and a document,” as reviewed by Reuters, reporting that the Biden administration could ease sanctions on the oil sector.

The outlet explained that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a global search for new oil supplies, especially heavy oil produced by Venezuela. The agency recalled the high-level meeting between American officials and Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Caracas.

At the beginning of March, it was known that senior officials of the Biden Administration held a secret meeting with Maduro in the Miraflores Palace.

PDVSA and the economic sanctions

The Biden White House, according to El American, asked him for some electoral guarantees, broad reforms in the Venezuelan oil sector, and a public reprimand of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, in exchange for the temporary lifting of some of the financial sanctions imposed on the Chavista regime.

“The Biden administration’s move would represent a 180-degree turn in U.S. policy toward Venezuela, which has sought to isolate the Chavista regime and has not recognized Maduro as the country’s legitimate president since 2019,” said El American’s Daniel Chang.

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Biden’s decision was criticized by conservative voices. FL Gov. Ron DeSantis said via Twitter that “it is a mistake for the Biden administration to ask Venezuela for oil and legitimize Maduro’s communist regime during an official visit.” 

Likewise, GOP Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), who has maintained a firm position on totalitarian regimes in the region, has made several criticisms of Biden’s plan to restore economic relations with the Chavista regime.

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