Democrat President Joe Biden faced backlash over the weekend after his administration announced it would allow Chevron to resume pumping oil in socialist Venezuela.
The move from the leftist Biden administration reversed restrictions that the Trump administration had put on companies in an effort to oust socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro.
“On November 26th, the Unitary Platform and the Maduro regime announced the resumption of talks in Mexico City; a humanitarian agreement focused on education, health, food security, flood response, and electricity programs that will benefit the Venezuelan people; and agreement on the continuation of talks focused on the 2024 elections,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “Following this announcement and consistent with U.S. government policy, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Venezuela General License (GL) 41, authorizing Chevron Corporation to resume limited natural resource extraction operations in Venezuela.”
The statement said that the move by the administration to “provide targeted sanctions relief” was based on the Venezuelan government’s recent actions to help its people and “support the restoration of democracy.”
The sanctions relief that the administration is providing to Venezuela will last six months, at which point it could be revoked or amended.
Venezuela’s economy was wrecked by its “state-run economic model” that “wasted the world’s largest oil reserves,” CNBC reported in 2019. The report added that inflation in the country had reached a peak of nearly 10 million percent that year since 2018, which left many unable to feed themselves.
The move by the Biden administration to ease sanctions on Venezuela comes as the administration has been hostile to issuing new drilling permits in the U.S., which has invited intense criticism.
Former White House Economic Adviser Stephen Moore said Sunday that the move by the administration makes no sense and puts America last.
“I literally almost fell out of my chair reading this headline that says we’re going to allow, you know, Chevron to do drilling in Venezuela,” Moore told Fox News. “This is the same administration that won’t allow us to do drilling here in the United States, not in Texas, not in Oklahoma, not in Alaska, not in West Virginia. But we can pump oil from Venezuela. It makes absolutely no sense. It’s put America last energy policy.”
“And by the way, when Trump left office and I helped Trump on energy policy, our whole policy was to make America totally energy independent so we wouldn’t have to rely on countries like Venezuela and Iran and Russia,” he added. “And so somebody explain this one to me because it makes no sense.”