Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sharply criticized the Biden Administration’s diplomatic efforts to cozy up to the socialist regime of Nicolás Maduro in exchange for a series of concessions, including oil trade with the South American country—seeking to replace Russian crude—and Caracas’ condemnation of Moscow for invading Ukraine.
“It is wrong for the Biden Administration to beg for oil from Venezuela & legitimize Maduro’s communist regime during an official visit,” said Ron DeSantis. “The U.S. should hold Maduro accountable while increasing domestic energy production so we won’t need to rely on hostile regimes for energy.”
What does Washington want from Maduro?
According to a Reuters report, last Saturday, March 5, Biden administration officials made diplomatic efforts in Caracas, Venezuela, meeting with senior officials of the Maduro regime in order to find an agreement to lift or relax oil sanctions against the Venezuelan dictatorship in exchange for a condemnation by Caracas of Russia for invading Ukraine and for Venezuela to become a crude oil supplier again.
However, according to sources consulted by Reuters, the negotiations “made little progress towards an agreement in their first high-level bilateral talks in decades.”
“U.S. officials saw the meeting as an opportunity to assess whether Venezuela, one of Russia’s closest Latin American allies, is prepared to distance itself from President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine,” the Reuters report reads. “Washington also wants to identify alternative oil supplies to fill the void if it seeks to boycott Moscow’s energy industry. Venezuela could increase its crude exports if Washington eases sanctions.”
According to the news agency, the American delegation was open to the “U.S. officials were willing to consider temporarily allowing Venezuela to use the SWIFT system.”
Dictator Maduro, for his part, called for “a full lifting of sanctions banning oil exports from Venezuela, the lifting of sanctions against him and other Venezuelan officials, and the return to state control of PDVSA’s U.S. subsidiary, Citgo Petroleum.”
Reuters’ sources called the demands from both sides “maximalist.”
“Biden is making a historic mistake.”
In the same vein, other Florida Republican politicians, such as Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Maria Elvira Salazar, criticized Washington’s “secret” approach to Caracas.
“Biden secret talks with Maduro regime isn’t about replacing Russia’s oil Venezuela’s oil industry is an incompetent mess that produces 10% of what Russia exports,” Senator Rubio said. “Ukraine is just an excuse for pro-leftist former Obama staffers who already wanted to get close to Maduro & Cuba.”
Likewise, Rep. Salazar said that the Biden administration is making a serious mistake by reaching out to Maduro.
“Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, & Nicaragua all work together. They help each other hold power at all cost. Helping one helps them all. This is insane,” Salazar said. “If the Biden Administration believes that Maduro will stand by his word, they are making a historic mistake.”