Don’t Count on a Thaw in U.S.-Venezuela Relations

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, center, leads a rally condemning the economic sanctions imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 10, 2019 (AP photo by Ariana Cubillos).
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, center, leads a rally condemning the economic sanctions imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 10, 2019 (AP photo by Ariana Cubillos).

Lately, energy companies have been acting as if U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry are likely to end soon. Last month, two U.S. investment firms—Gramercy Funds Management and Atmos Global Energy—formed a joint venture with the Venezuela-based Inelectra Group to engage in oil and gas exploration. The ownership of Citgo’s refineries in the country were a key point of contention for several years between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his opposition, but the U.S. oil giant’s management has nevertheless said it would accept crude exported from Venezuela if sanctions are indeed lifted. Their apparent belief that sanctions will be lifted is a […]

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