The United States and Venezuela have reached an agreement under which the United States will ease sanctions on the Venezuelan oil industry. However, Americans expect in return a commitment from the Nicolas Maduro regime to hold free presidential elections under international monitoring – reported the Washington Post and Reuters.
According to the Washington Post, the US is to announce the easing of sanctions after an agreement is signed between the Venezuelan regime and the opposition in Barbados in the presence of US representatives. The arrangement includes, among others: provide for the abolition of bans on opposition politicians from standing in elections and the holding of presidential elections monitored by international observers next year. The opposition is to hold primary elections this week to select a common candidate.
The US may ease sanctions on Venezuela
According to Reuters, which cites US administration representatives, Washington is to issue a license for the Venezuelan oil industry. “WP” reports that this is probably about allowing the state-owned company PDVSA to conduct transactions with the USA and other countries.
US sanctions against Venezuela were significantly tightened after the 2018 presidential election, which the US deemed fraudulent and invalid. Restrictions then applied to the oil industry and the central bank, and the assets of leading figures in the government were frozen. The country plunged into a massive political and economic crisis and was subjected to international isolation.
The agreement is another step signaling a thaw in the relations between the two countries after last year the administration lifted some of the restrictions on the cooperation of the American company Chevron with Venezuelan partners. Venezuela has one of the largest oil deposits in the world, but due to sanctions and lack of investment, production of the raw material is at a low level.
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