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Over the weekend, the highest level meetings in years took place between American diplomats and Venezuelan officials. The goal? To restore diplomatic relations and remove sanctions in exchange for Venezuela withdrawing its support for Vladimir Putin.
The obvious end of this is to isolate Putin’s Russia almost as much as Cuba in the 1960s or North Korea today. However, this is an extremely short-sighted idea.
First, from a purely practical point of view, Venezuela does not have the oil production to replace Russian exports. Venezuela produces between 600 and 700 thousand barrels of oil per day, so it would have to export them all to the United States to replace Russian oil exports, something that will not happen due to its commitments with China and Iran, just to mention two cases.
Second, the impact on the Russian economy would be pyrrhic. Venezuela is not a really important source of exports for Russia and other countries in the region, such as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, have opened their doors to become Russia’s diplomatic spokespeople in Latin America. Venezuela turning its back on Russia is hardly going to have any impact on Putin’s decision to continue his invasion of Ukraine.
Third, Venezuela is simply not a reliable partner. It is the cradle of drug trafficking and terrorism in the American continent. There is a presence of the Iranian regime and Hezbollah in the country, as well as Russian intelligence.
At the same time, it is probably Cuba’s main diplomatic ally. Does that sound like a reliable business partner for the United States? Hardly. As usual, it is going to make a couple of goodwill gestures like releasing political prisoners and some economic measure to free up the market a bit to calm the naïve observers and then go back to its dictatorial ways.
Trish Regan said that Russia should be exchanged for Venezuela because it belongs to the Western hemisphere – this is obvious from a geographical point of view – but I can’t think of many countries further away from the West than Venezuela and I don’t think there are many that are a greater threat to the national security of the United States.
Edgar is political scientist and philosopher. He defends the Catholic intellectual tradition. Edgar writes about religion, ideology, culture, US politics, abortion, and the Supreme Court. Twitter: @edgarjbb_ // Edgar es politólogo y filósofo. Defiende la tradición intelectual católica. Edgar escribe sobre religión, ideología, cultura, política doméstica, aborto y la Corte Suprema. Twitter: @edgarjbb_