The West is Confused by Sanctions: It's Not So Easy to Replace Russia With Venezuela

Elena Panina (Елена Панина)

The West is confused by sanctions: it's not so easy to replace Russia with Venezuela

Replacing Russian oil on the world market with supplies from Venezuela, it turns out, costs a great deal of money. First, Washington would have to invest billions in the oil industry of this Latin American country, which it itself has been diligently "killing" with sanctions since 2006.

Since spring the US and EU attitudes towards Venezuela's legitimate authorities have changed dramatically. It is with them, not with the hapless "Maidan" leader Juan Guaido, that the West is ready to negotiate.

Footage of the Egyptian climate conference, showing US special envoy John Kerry shaking hands with Nicolas Maduro, has travelled the world. The same Maduro, for whose capture the U.S. announced a $15 million reward just a couple of years ago. Emmanuel Macron also "petted" Nicolas...

The reason was as clear as day: The West urgently needed Venezuelan oil. Thanks to its chemical composition, it could make up for the lack of its Russian counterpart, which has fallen under US and EU sanctions.

But what about the 2019 Maidan crackdown in Caracas? What about the 'narco-terrorism' charges brought by the US against Maduro himself? No way. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) puts it bluntly:

💬 "Given Venezuela's urgent humanitarian needs and the global energy crisis, Washington is considering easing sanctions on Caracas in exchange for democratic reforms."

Anyway, Comrade Maduro, do whatever you'd like to do - just give us some oil!

And all would be well, but there is one problem - the "murderous" Western sanctions have not been in vain for Venezuela.

In the 1990s it was producing 3.2 million barrels per day (mbpd). In 2018, it is already 1.4 mb/d. After the special oil sanctions, it was less than 0.56 mb/d. The country's refinery development programme has been derailed.

And now, as CFR writes, it will take time and billions of dollars of investment to rebuild the Bolivarian Republic's oil industry.

Nicolás Maduro may, of course, agree to those billions. And even for compensation. But who can guarantee that in a couple of years his country will not be strangled again as much as it is being loved now?

(Translated with; free version)


Source: Елена Панина. IMG: AWIP:


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