Biden Holding Off on Reimposing Venezuelan Sanctions Garners Criticism

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
December 5, 2023

President Joe Biden has yet to reintroduce sanctions on Venezuela after the US lifted them in exchange for free and fair elections in the Latin American country’s 2024 presidential election. 

Back in early October, the Floridian’s Javier Manjarres reported how the US was leveraging sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports to pressure Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro into permitting elections. 

Effectively, Maduro eventually signed an agreement with Venezuelan opposition representatives where he pledged to allow for transparent and fair elections next year if oil sanctions were lifted. 

In return, the US lifted sanctions on select oil exports. 

However, following Maria Corina Machado’s landslide and record-setting primary elections victory, Maduro’s puppet Venezuelan Supreme Court invalidated the election results and barred Machado.

The US responded by giving Maduro until November 30th to fully reinstate all candidates and warned the US would “take action” if Maduro failed to fulfill his side of the agreement.

Since then, scores of public officials and political leaders suggested terminating the deal and punishing Venezuela with renewed sanctions. 

Hours before the November 30th deadline, Maduro informed the Venezuelan opposition candidates of their potential reinstatement to be delayed until December 15th. 

The delay comes amid a looming international oil crisis, with the US scrambling to find alternate sources of oil imports, which Venezuela could supply

US Senator Marco Rubio, a fierce critic of the Maduro regime that has maintained Biden’s policy of lifting sanctions on Venezuela would backfire, again called for Biden to reimpose sanctions. 

“Biden’s concessions to narco-dictator Maduro have only emboldened him,” said Senator Rubio. 


Rubio asserted Biden cannot continue with the current plan and “must reinstate sanctions against the regime immediately.”

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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