Biden Renews Venezuelan Oil Sanctions, Grants Maduro 45-Day Grace Period

Biden Renews Venezuelan Oil Sanctions, Grants Maduro 45-Day Grace Period

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
April 18, 2024

Hours after refusing to comment on whether sanctions would be renewed, the US State Department has announced its decision to return oil sanctions on Venezuela. 

“After a careful review of the current situation in Venezuela, the United States determined Nicolas Maduro and his representatives have not fully met the commitments made under the electoral roadmap agreement,” reads the State Department statement. 

President Joe Biden lifted sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gold sectors earlier this year in exchange for assurances the country would be committed to holding fair elections.

The announcement comes months after Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro barred opposition leader Maria Corina Machado from facing him in the upcoming presidential elections. 

President Biden was expected to not reinstate oil sanctions imposed on Venezuela during President Donald Trump’s term. 

The decision to change course and renew sanctions has alleviated some and surprised others. 

Conservatives had incessantly requested Biden cease all sanctions relief.

US Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), for example, had repeatedly opined sanctions are the best strategy for combating authoritarian regimes, and implored Biden to immediately change course.

However, Biden’s sanctions decision also grants Venezuela 45 additional days to export oil to the US. 

The State Department justified the extension as needed to “implement an orderly process” of sanctions reinstatement. 

As the Venezuela-US oil saga’s end draws closer, questions remain as to what chance, if any, exists for a free and fair presidential election in Venezuela this summer. 

Dictator Maduro, who had promised Biden he would permit a democratic transition in exchange for oil sanctions relief, has recently expanded persecution efforts of political opponents. 

Maduro’s regime carries a ghastly repertoire of unlawful detainments, extrajudicial killings, tortures, and kidnapping of regime dissidents and political opponents.

Most recently, Maduro targeted journalist Orlando Avendaño, a public critic of Maduro’s regime, by raiding his family home in Venezuela. 


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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

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

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