Venezuelans Disapprove of U.S. Oil Sanctions in New POLL

Venezuelans Disapprove of U.S. Oil Sanctions in New POLL

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
March 22, 2022

A new poll of Venezuelans conducted by strategic, political risk, and environmental Intelligence consulting company ORC Consultores between March 9 and 15, shows that 52% of Venezuelans polled disapproved of the U.S.-imposed oil sanctions against their country.

This polling number is significant considering that as many as 2/3 of 66.7% of Venezuelans know of the sanctions levied on the government, as a result of Dictator Nicolas Maduro’s ongoing criminal activities and the ensuing humanitarian crisis he has caused.

But while most Venezuelans disapprove of the oil sanctions levied on them by the U.S. government, a good portion of those polled support sanctions being placed on officials of the Maduro regime.

In addition,  46% of Venezuelans agree that overall sanctions against their government should be lifted,

Totally agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Completely disagree Don’t know Won’t answer
Government sanctions 9.50% 14.91% 20.73% 37.65% 8.30% 6.71% 2.20%
Sanctions against officials 21.33% 20.85% 13.31% 28.77% 6.98% 5.79% 2.97%
Sanctions to the oil sector 6.54% 9.03% 21.47% 42.32% 9.54% 8.96% 2.13%

"It is clear that the Venezuelan population strongly rejects economic sanctions, but not those imposed on government officials.  Ordinary Venezuelans feel the economic impact of sanctions in their day-to-day; however, they believe that there must be a punishment for those who produced the humanitarian crisis,” said Oswaldo Ramirez, director of ORC Consultores.

Carlos Fernandez, president of Fedecamaras, the umbrella association representing Venezuela’s private sector, agrees: “We believe that any recalibration of sanctions must benefit the Venezuelan people who are the ones suffering from the consequences of sanctions.  Moreover, the current sanctions regime —and the over-compliance it has generated— has  impacted the private sector to the point that it has severely curtailed its development, particularly oil operations, which comprise much of Venezuela’s external revenue which, in turn, negatively affects the Venezuelan people.” He also added that providing sanctions flexibility in the oil sector “will increase transparency in terms of production, sales, markets and revenues.  This will allow for more control and accountability.  Currently, there is little transparency and access to information, which enables more corruption and opacity.”  Fernandez also pointed out that the focus of sanctions should be “on individual and not general sanctions.”

The cry to overhaul current U.S. sanctions policy toward Venezuela is echoed by the U.S. private sector. In a blogpost from September of last year, Neil Herrington, Senior Vice President for the Americas, for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that “time is of the essence to overhaul a sanctions architecture that has helped strengthen Maduro, deepened Venezuela’s dire economic and humanitarian crisis, brought harm to U.S. businesses, and undermined our national security.”

Herrington noted that the most recent exodus of Western oil companies from Venezuela in July 2021 was a total win for Maduro: “…Total’s $1.4 billion loss instantly became the cash-strapped Maduro regime’s gain when PDVSA absorbed the French company’s portion of the Joint Venture.”  Similarly, U.S. oil sanctions “prohibits U.S. companies form laying claim to their petroleum extractions in Venezuela.  PDVSA now retains and sells oil previously the property of American firms, further enriching the Maduro regime at the companies’ expense.”

Interestingly, disapproval of U.S. sanctions is even stronger amongst those Venezuelans who do not have family members living in the U.S.

If you have family members living in the U.S. You have no family members living in the U.S.
Government sanctions Agrees: 31.3%
Disagrees: 34.1%
Agrees: 22.9%
Disagrees: 48.6%
Sanctions against officials Agrees: 56.9%
Disagrees: 20.7%
Agrees: 38.8%
Disagrees: 39.2%
Sanctions to the oil sector Agrees: 17.2%
Disagrees: 44.4%
Agrees: 15.2%
Disagrees: 53.6%



While the recently reported meeting between Biden administration officials and the Maduro regime, as a result of the energy crisis fueled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has stroked the ire of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, Venezuelans appear to be split on the issue, with approval of the meetings at 31 percent, and disapproval of the meetings at 28 percent.

Totally agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Completely disagree Don’t know Won’t answer
5.39% 25.39% 18.16% 17.62% 10.42% 18.23% 4.74%


For his part, Fernandez stated that the Venezuelan private sector welcomes “any effort toward negotiation, inclusion and engagement.  We believe in dialogue and negotiation as tools to reconcile differences. As long as there are negotiations, there’s the potential for making progress toward democracy and to de-escalate political discourse.”

Fernandez added that, in his view, the Biden administration official’s visit is a positive change in U.S. policy towards Venezuela. “Now, the U.S. is directly involved, with all its negotiating power.  The U.S. can harden, recalibrate or ease sanctions.  This bilateral negotiation also reinforces the Mexico negotiations, as it allows the process to advance in terms of rebuilding the country’s institutions.”

Related Posts

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Thank you for your interest in receiving the The Floridian newsletter. To subscribe, please submit your email address below.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.