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The Biden administration has reinstated sanctions on Venezuelan oil due to insufficient electoral progress. Announced on Wednesday, this decision reverses a previous lifting of sanctions from October, requiring companies to end transactions with Venezuela’s oil sector within 45 days.

Initially, the sanctions were removed after Venezuela agreed to election reforms. However, US authorities noted that despite some positive developments, the efforts were not comprehensive enough. The administration pointed out that Nicolás Maduro’s government hindered key opposition figures, María Corina Machado and her substitute Corina Yoris, from participating.


This reinstatement follows a period of relaxed sanctions under Biden, contrasting with the Trump administration’s 2019 sanctions aimed at pressuring Maduro to step down. Despite these measures, Maduro, whose 2018 re-election was deemed fraudulent by the US, remained in power.

Amid the brief easing of sanctions last year, Venezuela’s oil exports increased by 12%. Although the return of sanctions will restrict general company operations in Venezuela, the US Treasury Department will still consider individual licenses allowing specific companies to operate on a case-by-case basis.

These renewed sanctions are separate from a 2022 authorization that enabled Chevron to continue some operations in Venezuela, which is not expected to be affected.


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