The Biden administration is easing up on socialist, oppressive countries despite the American tradition of cutting ties with such nations.
President Joe Biden has taken a step towards easing some energy sanctions against Venezuela, the New York Post reported.
This comes on the heels of the administration also taking measures to lift some financial, travel and migration rules for Cuba.
These actions towards Cuba are an attempt to fulfill some of Biden’s campaign promises to the Cuban-American community.
“The measures today again are practical steps that we are taking to address the humanitarian situation and to respond to the needs of the Cuban people,” a senior administration official said, NPR reported. “President Biden is also fulfilling his commitment to the Cuban-American community and their family members in Cuba by announcing measures in four key areas, which we plan to implement in the coming weeks.”
Whether these promises were a good idea in the first place is a whole different discussion.
By lifting some of the energy sanctions, the U.S. will allow Chevron — the only major American oil company still operating in Venezuela — to discuss its licensing with the state-owned oil company PDVSA, CNN reported.
“The Treasury, with the guidance from the State Department, issued a narrow license authorizing Chevron to negotiate the terms of the potential future activities in Venezuela. It does not allow entry into any agreement with PDVSA or any other activity involving PDVSA or Venezuela’s oil sector. So fundamentally, what they’re doing is just allowed to talk,” an official said, the New York Post reported.
But if Chevron can negotiate its license, it can then continue operations, hopefully ensuring more oil will flow into the country to help mitigate the fuel crisis that Americans are suffering through.
In March, Biden began looking to Venezuela when the Russian invasion of Ukraine threw a wrench in the global oil market.
In response, Biden put sanctions on “Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal to the United States.” Later, White House and State Department officials traveled to Caracas to meet with Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, Fox News reported.
Why? Because Venezuela has massive oil reserves and an immense oil industry.
The administration seems desperate — as it should be — to find a way to alleviate the fuel crisis and soaring gas prices.
Americans are blaming Biden for the increasing gas prices that are hurting their pockets.
“President Joe Biden has tried to shift blame for the spike in gasoline prices, but most voters aren’t buying his excuses,” according to Rasmussen Reports.
So in a scramble, the White House figured that Venezuelan oil might be an answer.
The problem? The president of Venezuela is a socialist dictator. Normally, the U.S. doesn’t play ball with socialist dictators. It’s for that very reason that Venezuela was sanctioned by the U.S. in the first place.
Venezuela has been under U.S. sanctions for 15 years “in response to activities of the Venezuelan government and Venezuelan individuals,” the Congressional Research Service reported.
It was the Trump administration that then expanded economic sanctions after Maduro retained his choke-hold on power and decided to rewrite the country’s constitution.
Back in 2020, Biden himself condemned Maduro.
“Nicolás Maduro is a dictator. I strongly condemn his regime’s violent takeover of the Venezuelan National Assembly, the country’s sole remaining democratic institution,” Biden said on Twitter.
Nicolás Maduro is a dictator. I strongly condemn his regime’s violent takeover of the Venezuelan National Assembly, the country’s sole remaining democratic institution. https://t.co/mzrg9e8t5X
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 7, 2020
Yet, here Biden is, just a few years later, turning to Maduro in an attempt to get Venezuelan oil and save face in the midst of soaring inflation and gas prices.
It’s fine to condemn oppressive dictators — that is — until you’re in a tight spot that an oppressive dictator can help you out of. Apparently, in Biden’s thinking, that’s the time to do an about-face on any previously held principles.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.