Rubio Doubles Down on Venezuela Sanctions Despite Deal Being Reached

Rubio Doubles Down on Venezuela Sanctions Despite Deal Being Reached

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
December 6, 2023

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is doubling down on his call for President Joe Biden (D) and his administration to continue sanctions against Venezuelan President/Dictator Nicolas Maduro.

Oil sanctions were to be eased as long as the Maduro regime lifted its ban on allowing opposition leader Maria Corina Machado to continue her candidacy.

The deadline for action was Nov. 30. A deal was struck, pushing the deadline to Dec. 15.

However, Sen. Rubio believes that Maduro’s inaction should call for a reinstatement of the sanctions.

In a statement, the Florida senator said that President Biden should reverse course.

“Maduro lied to the Biden Administration,” said Sen. Rubio. “It is time for President Biden to reverse his failed strategy and reimpose sectoral sanctions against the criminal Maduro narco-regime until there is real movement by Maduro to release U.S. citizens and hold truly free and fair elections. Concessions to the Venezuelan dictator have only emboldened him and his thugs.”

He continued by saying that America’s focus should “remain firm” on bringing American hostages home.

“The U.S. must advance a policy that supports free, fair, multiparty, and democratic elections in Venezuela. The Venezuelan people made their voices heard during the opposition’s primary elections,” Rubio said. “As such, María Corina Machado must be permitted to run for the presidency without any restrictions. Our nation must remain firm on the importance of the immediate and unconditional release of all U.S. hostages, political prisoners, and prisoners of conscience.”

However, with OPEC cutting off oil production, America could need Venezuelan oil.

Elias Ferrer Breda, energy contributor to Forbes, recently wrote that “The Biden administration needs Venezuelan oil on the market—and Europe the natural gas. The consequences of conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza are only reinforcing the strategic significance of Venezuelan oil.”

Oil sanctions relief to Venezuela is also likely to boost shipments of Venezuelan crude to the U.S. and Europe, which means diverting oil from the South American nation to China, currently the top destination for Venezuelan oil.

Additionally, A recent poll commissioned by Florida International University shows that the majority of Venezuelan Americans believe the economic sanctions against Venezuela have not been working.

Moreover, 56% of respondents believe that economic sanctions have moved Venezuela and its leadership toward non-democratic countries and strengthened its relationship with the adversaries of the United States, particularly Russia, China, and Iran.

However, a majority of respondents still want the U.S. to “maintain or increase U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.”

The author of the survey, Dr. Eduardo Gamarra says this probably stems from the public’s belief “that there are no other alternatives to deal with Venezuela but sanctions,” adding, “the U.S. has not had a comprehensive and ‘real’ Venezuela policy for the past 20 years; the only tool in its foreign policy arsenal has been monolithic: sanctions. Therefore, absent of a strategy, they turn to the only thing they know.”

It will be interesting to see how Dictator Maduro approaches the Dec. 15 deadline that is fast approaching.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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