Biden’s administration yesterday authorized Chevron to begin drilling in Venezuela again, easing Trump-era sanctions and giving an economic lifeline to the tyrannical Maduro government who has brought the South American country to absolute economic ruin.
It’s illegal in Venezuela to publish the actual currency conversion rates. Most of the country’s economy is now transacted illegally in U.S. dollars.
The sanctions preventing the development of oil reserves in the country were from 2019 when President Trump sanctioned the country for engaging in widespread voter fraud.
The 2020 elections in Venezuela lacked “any credibility”, according to the US State Dept. at the time. Part of Maduro’s election-related crimes were creating false charges against political opponents and rounding up opposition leaders and jailing them. The elections in Venezuela were conducted and overseen by Smartmatic until 2018. Smartmatic later said that the government had the ability to change the results on its systems if it so choosed. Communist tyrant Nicholas Maduro denounced all election deniers as insurrectionists and seditionists.
The US slapped sanctions on Venezuela in 2019 after Maduro took office following an election many countries and observers said was not free and fair. Those sanctions barred most activity by US firms in the country and banned the import of Venezuelan oil into the US. Washington has not recognized Maduro as the country’s president, instead throwing its weight behind opposition figure Juan Guaido, whose own political fate has seemed uncertain of late.
Chevron did not comment on its likely ramp-up of activity.
Under the new license from the US Treasury Department, Chevron’s joint ventures with state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) can produce oil, and Chevron can lift that oil as repayment for investments the company has made in developing assets in Venezuela.
Washington in July gave approval for Italy’s Eni and Spain’s Repsol to undertake similar crude-for-debt swaps.
Under Chevron’s new license, the oil can be freely exported, including into the US. In the three years before the sanctions were implemented, US imports from Venezuela ranged between 600,000-800,000 barrels per day.
There’s no word on how much, if any, energy industry expert Hunter Biden benefitted from the new Chevron license.