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What was an open secret happened: Biden decided to ease sanctions on Venezuela in order to bring them back to the negotiating table in Mexico. On the one hand, he will allow Chevron to renegotiate its license with PDVSA, and, in a gesture of “goodwill”, he will remove Carlos Erik Malpica-Flores, nephew of the first lady, Cilia Flores, from his sanctioned list.
What is most surprising is that the Biden administration did this without anything in return. There was no release of political prisoners, no publication of the electoral schedule, no release of opposition politicians, nothing. Not even a small symbolic gesture.
What makes the Biden administration believe that giving gifts to Maduro will achieve anything? What motivation can the Maduro regime have to return to Mexico when they know they can continue to wait and obtain concessions? And in any case: if they do return, what makes them believe that this time it will be different and will not add to the already several failed attempts of negotiation between the regime and the weak Venezuelan opposition?
It is even clearer that Venezuela is far from the list of priorities of the Biden administration and that his advisors, led by the Colombian-American Juan González, are too comfortable with the idea of having a Sino-Russian satellite, with the presence of Hezbollah, the FARC and the headquarters of international drug trafficking three hours by plane from Miami.
This article originally appeared in El American’s newsletter on May 18, 2022. Subscribe for free here.
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_