Americas

Venezuela confirms US authorized Western oil companies to restart operations

Caracas hopes for 'absolute lifting' of sanctions by US, says vice president

Laura Gamba Fadul   | 18.05.2022
Venezuela confirms US authorized Western oil companies to restart operations

BOGOTA, Colombia

Venezuelan government confirmed that the US has authorized American and European oil companies to start negotiations with the South American nation to resume operations, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said Tuesday.

“The Bolivarian Government of Venezuela has verified and confirmed the news published to the effect that the United States of America has authorized U.S. and European oil companies to negotiate and restart operations in Venezuela,” said Rodriguez on her Twitter account.

Her comments on social media came after the Biden administration announced that it will begin easing a few sanctions in response to a call from opposition leader Juan Guaido.

“The world knows that Venezuela has taken its first steps on the road to economic recovery through its own efforts, denouncing and overcoming the illegitimate sanctions and the inhumane blockade,” she said.

She added that Caracas hopes the decision by Washington would "pave the way to the total lifting of the illegal sanctions which affect our entire people."

The decision to lift some sanctions was made as a gesture intended to encourage the resumption of negotiations between the Washington-backed opposition and the government of President Nicolas Maduro, senior US government officials said Tuesday.

Guaido, whom the US recognizes as Venezuela’s interim president, called on the Biden administration to get the negotiations "back on track," according to the officials.

Rodriguez also said that the Maduro administration has confirmed reports that Washington plans to authorize US and European oil companies to resume operations in Venezuela.

The move will allow American oil company Chevron, the only one that still has a presence in Venezuela, to negotiate its license with state-owned oil company PDVSA to continue operations in the country.

In 2017, the government of President Donald Trump imposed sanctions that included the prohibition to trade Venezuelan Treasury bonds in US financial markets and to make negotiations with PDVSA. Other sanctions were imposed against officials of the South American country, whose assets were frozen.

The Venezuelan government and the opposition began negotiations in Mexico in August 2021 to try to find a solution to the political, economic and social crisis the country is going through.

*Beyza Binnur Donmez from Ankara contributed to the story

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