U.S. Allows Chevron to Expand Energy Operations in Venezuela

Washington’s ultimate goal, and that of the often fractured Venezuelan opposition, is to pressure Maduro to set free and fair conditions for the 2024 presidential election. In the past, Maduro controlled elections by banning many opposition leaders. , jailing others and co-opting political parties.

Francisco Monaldi, director of Rice University’s Latin America Energy Program, said the deal with Chevron was not just symbolic. Within two years, the company could be producing more than 200,000 barrels a day in Venezuela, adding to the roughly 765,000 barrels now being pumped daily, according to Argus, an industry monitor.

The issue to keep in mind in the future, he added, is whether other companies will be able to use the agreement with Chevron to pressure Washington to lift more sanctions against Venezuela.

Current US rules prohibit US and foreign companies from buying Venezuelan oil. But entities such as Repsol in Spain and Reliance in India have been lobbying Washington to remove the sanctions for years, Monaldi said.

“It is very difficult to justify the United States telling India not to buy Venezuelan oil when they are buying Venezuelan oil,” he said.

While the multibillion-dollar humanitarian aid deal has yet to be finalized, the Venezuelan government and opposition signed an agreement on Saturday that sets out the framework for monitoring that future program. Norway will facilitate this monitoring process.

In a presentation to the press, Dag Nylander, head of the Norwegian delegation at the Mexico meeting, said the aid program will work to improve the country’s public health system, its national electricity system and its public education system, and which would address the problems caused by torrential rains this year.

julie turkwitz reported from Bogotá, Colombia, and Zolan Kanno Youngs from Nantucket, Massachusetts. isayen herrera contributed reporting from Caracas, Venezuela.