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Biden Trades Venezuelan Freedom for Maduro’s Oil

Posted on Saturday, May 20, 2023
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by Ben Solis
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54 Comments
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

Oil

Venezuela state oil company PDVSA announced earlier this week that it plans to dramatically expand crude oil production by the end of this year – news met with consternation by the country’s embattled opposition leaders and made possible by President Joe Biden’s capitulation to strongman Nicolas Maduro.

With the cost of gas skyrocketing last summer as a result of Democrats’ war on American energy production and a pivotal midterm election approaching, the Biden administration desperately needed something to begin to bring oil prices back under control. One of the answers they arrived at was the easing of Trump-era sanctions on Venezuela’s authoritarian regime, a move that critics described as effectively trading Venezuelan freedom and democracy for cheaper oil.

That news sent signals to the market that more oil was on its way, and prices dipped just in time for last November’s elections. In January, the Biden Treasury Department granted Chevron permission to begin producing and exporting oil from Venezuela, providing much-needed relief to the battered Maduro economy.

According to a Reuters report, Chevron loaded nearly 150,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil per day in April, and plans to increase production even further before the end of the year. PDVSA has said it hopes to produce more than 1.3 million barrels per day by the end of 2023.

While this news is welcome relief for a Maduro regime that has been hampered by the fallout from U.S.-led sanctions, it has sparked feelings of betrayal among Venezuela’s opposition leaders hoping to restore freedom and democracy to the South American country.

Biden’s move to lift sanctions is just the latest example of the White House’s overtures to Maduro. Last October, Biden released two of Maduro’s nephews-in-law from detainment in American prisons in a move that angered opposition leaders.

In January, Biden also ceased recognizing Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president. Amid severe pressure and threats of violence from the Maduro regime, some within the Venezuelan opposition had begun to undermine Guaido’s leadership, only strengthening Maduro’s grip over the country.

Instead of lending a helping hand, Biden sided with Guaido’s critics, in effect bolstering Maduro’s claim to legitimacy. “We don’t agree [with ousting Guaido]. It would be an unfortunate decision which implies recognition of Maduro,” said Leopoldo López, a leader of the opposition party alliance.

Biden also provided the green light for funds for ostensibly humanitarian aid purposes to be funneled through the U.S. financial system. Opposition leaders have again warned that this move will only strengthen the Maduro regime, and that there is no reliable way to ensure the funds are being used for legitimate humanitarian purposes.

All of this is a stark reversal of Biden’s statement during his address at the 2020 Democratic National Convention that “the days of cozying up to dictators are over” – echoing false media reports that President Trump had appeased strongmen like Maduro.

Indeed, it is worth recalling just how different Biden’s approach has been from the policy pursued by the Trump administration. Despite the media’s false claims that Trump was a friend to dictators, Trump brought every bit of America’s economic and diplomatic might to bear on Maduro.

In 2018, when Maduro falsified elections and prevented Guaido from assuming the presidency, Trump responded by leading an enormous effort of more than 60 countries who recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

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Trump also imposed withering sanctions on the country for its humanitarian abuses. According to Foro Penal, an independent organization which documents human rights abuses in Latin America, Maduro’s regime has wrongfully detained more than 12,000 people since 2013. The group has reported horrific torture practices in Venezuelan prisons, including electric shock, hanging people upside down, food and water deprivation, and imprisonment in windowless refrigerators.

A United Nations report also found that the Maduro regime conducted more than 7,000 extrajudicial killings between the presidential elections in 2018 and July of 2019. Opposition leaders had their assets seized and were under constant threat of violence.

Although a hostile global media was reluctant to report it, Trump’s support of Guaido and sanctions on Maduro provided a vital lifeline to the opposition right when they needed it most. As Maduro attempted to consolidate his control of the country, Guaido was able to set up an interim government with a full network of cabinet ministers and ambassadors – serving as a constant reminder of the regime’s illegitimacy. This was an unprecedented achievement in the history of freedom movements.

Indeed, the existence of a visible opposition is often all that preserves any hope of overcoming tyranny. Through threats and intimidation, dictators hope to either recruit or eliminate dissenters in the hopes that the international community will eventually accept them as legitimate – exactly what is occurring now in Venezuela.

The opposition movement’s previous united support for Guaido ensured that the Venezuelan people and the world had a figure to rally around – forcing Maduro to somewhat restrain himself and think carefully about his moves. Because the opposition movement was built-in to Venezuela’s institutions, Maduro could only dismantle it through martial law, a prospect he could ill afford.

President Trump clearly understood all of these dynamics, and led the effort to erode the foundations of Maduro’s power. Now, in service of his own selfish interests, Biden appears to be doing the exact opposite.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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CB
CB
1 year ago

Wonder how much kick back the biden crime family is getting on this deal?

Hap2
Hap2
1 year ago

Must be multiple LLC’s cashing checks for the energy expert Hunter.

Bryan
Bryan
1 year ago

So Biden and all his criminal friends are going to make another fortune from a communist country

Cherie
Cherie
1 year ago

Link is broken

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Team Biden is just doing its part to throw yet another failing socialist dictatorship a financial lifeline. You mean that is NOT what U.S. taxpayers are supposed to be footing the bill for? Anyone who thinks the supposed “humanitarian aid” being sent to Venezuela will do anywhere but into the off-shore bank accounts of Maduro is a complete fool. Time to grow up kiddies and smell the coffee. Socialists have to stick together you know, so Team Biden will is just doing their part to aid a fellow traveler in need.

Besides, I’m sure that any deal involving the United States buying oil from the Maduro regime, while also blocking any domestic U.S. oil production through the withholding of permits, also includes some off the books “gratuities” (the nice way of not saying a bribes for those of you that don’t like to read unpleasant things) being paid to members of the Biden family and the various financial backers of our glorious leader who continue to make money hand over fist with the puppet in the White House.

Linda Huss
Linda Huss
1 year ago

Biden is the puppet doing the bidding of someone else. That is probably Obama or maybe even Soros. In any case he is leading the US down the path of destruction!!

Regine
Regine
1 year ago

What do you suppose this country will look like in January 2025 when Trump steps back into the Oval Office? I’m terrified to think of it

Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

Cozying up to dictators is what wanna be dictators do.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

We have our own Oil and don’t need or want anybody else’s DIRTY Oil.
It’s called, AMERICAN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE.

Sharon Ormsby
Sharon Ormsby
1 year ago

Damn Biden. We don’t want a dictator’s oil.

phoenix
phoenix
1 year ago

clown world… Honk Honk…

Duluth Tom
Duluth Tom
1 year ago

Isn’t it amazing that EVERY TIME the Dems accuse the Reps of doing something like cozying up to dictators, it’s actually the Dems that are actually doing the slimy activity. I am so tired of the “press” pretending to be nonpartisan when they are the opposite…. If they would report the truth to all of us, I don’t think the Dems would win another national race. Not going to happen sadly.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

NO we need our own OIL

mytake
mytake
1 year ago

Why is this incompetent still in the WH?

Commentary
Commentary
1 year ago

JOE, we have enough energy of our own! We do not need to buy it from other countries. Yesterday I paid $5.50 for gas in AZ. STOP your nonsense and make the U.S. independent from all others again. It isn’t that complicated…

tlanger
tlanger
1 year ago

Two commies playing together nicely. Isn’t that nice to see little ole joe so happy. Hope they share their toys.

B W
B W
1 year ago

5/22/2023 WHAT SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRY DID THE PRESIDENT BUSH FAMILY BUY
1 MILLION ACRES? WASN’T IT IN VENEZUELA,
& WASN’T IT SOMETHING TO DO WITH OIL? JUST ASKING.

Ann S
Ann S
1 year ago

Brandon is cut from the same cloth as Maduro.
Running both countries into the ground. Environmental problems are good for Maduro, Brandon is fighting it tooth and nail here in America or is he? 31 trillion dollars in debt and he won’t cut the budget. Are we hearing DEPRESSION is on its way.

Ronald Odell
Ronald Odell
1 year ago

The Biden Crime family has not hit upon another scheme to direct funds to the Biden Crime Family. Along with the almost sure thing, the family receives a percentage of all the money made by replacing the military equipment to Ukraine from the arms manufacturing elite.

Veteran
Veteran
1 year ago

“A United Nations report also found that the Maduro regime conducted more than 7,000 extrajudicial killings between the presidential elections in 2018″: clear text “extrajudicial killings” = politically motivated murders, socialist/communist dictators do, as socialist/communist dictators are. Genocide and communism are the same thing. Socialism/communism always leads to genocide, i.e. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, ,,,Time to end socialism in our country!

Sue
Sue
1 year ago

So how can Americans expect anything supportive of Americans with “our fearless” leader who kowtows to anyone and everyone; especially those entities against human rights and freedom.

Dennis Math
Dennis Math
1 year ago

This article is pure propaganda. Guaido was NEVER elected by a single Venezuelan. The people chose and stuck with Maduro and essentially ran the US puppet Guaido out of the country.
I despise Biden and am not a fan of Maduro but I am also not a Venezuelan. The US needs to cease its never ending forced installation of puppet leaders that promote the cause of the US rather than the cause and wishes of each sovereign countries people.
We here in America apparently cannot run our own country so perhaps more effort should be provided here at home.

RWC
RWC
1 year ago

Oil is abundant in the world economy. The US doesn’t need to waste our resources here to obtain it. Lesser countries can utilize their comparative advantage to extract it. The high price of oil is not due to a low supply. The price of oil is pegged to the dollar which is devalued under this administration. Remember, political policy affects the value of the currency, and since the current policies are by proxy the same fellow travelers that decided policy during President 44’s terms.

edward
edward
1 year ago

“In 2018, when Maduro falsified elections and prevented Guaido from assuming the presidency” sounds similar to the democrat playbook in the U.S. Given that madero and his goons are communists and the democrats in this country are too why wouldn’t biden do what he can to help a “blood brother” as well as not help his own country by ALLOWING THE U.S. TO RE-ESTABLISH ENERGY INDEPENDANCE!

Hal von Luebbert
Hal von Luebbert
1 year ago

Maduro is a socialist, Biden is a socialist. “Birds of a feather flock together.” What else should we know (our “news media” being what it is….)?

james s carlyle
james s carlyle
1 year ago

Biden apparently has more in common with the Communist Maduro than my fellow citizens.

tika
tika
1 year ago

president bilious scum! marxist!

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

Agree with one thing, Trump took a hard stance against Maduro & recognized Guaido the elected as President of Venezuela. How would Biden respond if Maduro refused to recognize him as POTUS ? This is all a result of Biden’s WAR ON FOSSIL FUELS.

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

This is a Blatant act by Biden to try to keep price down of gasoline at the pump by buying foreign oil, he thinks people will not notice his highly publicized “WAR ON FOSSIL FUELS”.. Come on Man, take off you sunglasses & support America energy companies.

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