US To Soften Sanctions On Venezuelan Oil In Exchange For Fair Elections

In a diplomatic turn, the U.S. and Venezuela have crafted an agreement to address longstanding tensions. Under the agreement, the U.S. plans to soften sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, and in exchange, President Nicolás Maduro promises an internationally supervised, competitive presidential election in 2024.

The deal is set for formalization in Barbados this week, with U.S. officials expected to attend. Maduro’s 2018 election, widely criticized as rigged, stands as a backdrop to these negotiations. Maduro has now signaled a willingness to ease restrictions on opposition candidates, although the timeline for such moves remains uncertain.

While this agreement is notable, it doesn’t encompass the release of political prisoners in Venezuela or address the status of frozen Venezuelan assets in the U.S. Importantly, the U.S. is expected to impose a timeframe on the sanction reliefs, allowing for their reinstatement if Maduro reneges on his commitments.

Maduro’s pledges also extend to welcoming international electoral observers and enhancing media access for the forthcoming elections. If the deal is finalized, the U.S. could ease certain oil sanctions, potentially allowing Venezuela’s state-owned oil agency to resume business with the U.S.

This potential thaw in relations is timely. Venezuela’s opposition is gearing up for primary elections, and the favorite, María Corina Machado, remains prohibited from running due to Maduro’s restrictions.

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela intensified in 2019 following Maduro’s contested election. However, recent moves, like the U.S.’ decision to resume direct deportation flights to Venezuela, hint at a warming of ties between the two nations.

Information for this briefing was found via the Washington Post and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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