The US Treasury Grants Venezuela Oil Export License for Six Months…reports Asian Lite News
Washington has significantly relaxed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, marking a substantial rollback from Trump-era restrictions. This move comes in response to a political agreement between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties regarding the 2024 election.
The US Treasury Department issued a new general license allowing Venezuela, an OPEC member under intense sanctions since 2019, to produce and export oil to its preferred markets for the next six months without constraints.
While US Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged President Nicolas Maduro’s electoral concessions, he specified that the US expected the lifting of bans on opposition presidential candidates and the release of political prisoners and detained Americans by the end of November.
A senior State Department official, on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that sanctions relief measures could be reversed if Maduro fails to take such actions.
These actions by the US are the result of months of negotiations that sought concrete steps towards democratic elections in exchange for the partial lifting of the stringent sanctions imposed during Donald Trump’s presidency.
They also reflect a shift from Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach, signalling increased engagement by President Biden’s administration with Maduro on various issues, according to Reuters report.
The US and Venezuela have agreed on a plan “to allow the orderly, safe and legal repatriation of Venezuelan migrants” directly to the South American nation in an attempt to curb the record influx of crossings at the US-Mexico border, according to senior administration officials.
Venezuelans who cross the US-Mexico border unlawfully and lack a legal basis to remain in America will be eligible for removal, CNN quoted the officials as saying on Thursday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the new policy “a key piece” of the administration’s approach to migration.
“Under the Los Angeles Declaration, we’re charged with taking coordinated actions to try to stabilize flows, to expand regular pathways, to humanely manage all of our borders,” Blinken said on Thursday at a press conference in Mexico City.
“Repatriations are a key piece to this balanced approach.”
On its part, Venezuela said that “migration in recent years is a direct consequence of the application of unilateral coercive measures and the blockade against our economy”.
Under the agreement, the repatriation program will be activated to provide “the necessary resources for the integral care of our repatriated compatriots, for the strict observance of the protection provided by the Constitution and the laws of the country”.