USA Denies Report of Plans to Change Venezuela Sanctions Policy

USA Denies Report of Plans to Change Venezuela Sanctions Policy
'Our sanctions policy on Venezuela remains unchanged'.

The Biden administration has no plans to change its sanctions policy toward Venezuela without positive actions from President Nicolas Maduro’s government, the National Security Council said after a report that the US would scale down restrictions affecting Chevron Corp.

“Our sanctions policy on Venezuela remains unchanged,” NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement. “We will continue to implement and enforce our Venezuela sanctions. As we have previously made clear, we will review our sanctions policies in response to constructive steps by the Maduro regime to restore democracy in Venezuela and alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people.”

Chevron said in a statement that “we continue to conduct our businesses in compliance with the current sanctions framework provided by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.”

The comment came after the Wall Street Journal reported that the US was preparing to allow Chevron to resume pumping oil, smoothing the road for a possible reopening of US and European markets to oil exports from Venezuela. The newspaper cited people familiar with the proposal who it didn’t identify.

Venezuela has been under economic and oil sanctions since 2019, after the US and dozens of other countries recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president. 

Over the weekend, the Biden administration said  Venezuela had freed seven Americans, including oil executives and a former Marine, in a swap involving two members of Maduro’s family imprisoned in the US.

--With assistance from Simon Casey.

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