Joe Biden’s administration announced the easing of some sanctions against Venezuela in response to the authorities’ agreement with the opposition on preparations for the 2024 presidential elections. The government of President Nicolas Maduro agreed to allow opposition candidates to participate in the elections.
As announced by the US Department of the Treasury, the US government “in response to democratic changes” has conditionally agreed to resume purchases of Venezuelan oil and gas as well as gold for the next 6 months.
It was emphasized that this period could be extended if the government of President Nicolas Maduro “respects the commitments made under the electoral agreement.”
Otherwise, especially if Maduro’s government does not allow opposition candidates to be elected and does not release political prisoners, the sanctions-easing measures will be canceled.
World markets are counting on a decline in oil prices
As AFP points out, Washington’s decision was highly anticipated by the markets, which expect it to cause a drop in oil prices. The prices of this key raw material have been constantly increasing recently, and the war between Israel and Hamas may further accelerate their increase.
The Venezuelan opposition did not recognize Maduro’s re-election as president in 2018, believing that the elections were rigged. Previously, the US, during Donald Trump’s administration, applied harsh sanctions against the Maduro government in response to the brutal repression of the opposition.
Main photo source: JIM LO SCALZO/PAP/EPA