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After Venezuela fails to uphold agreement, Biden administration announces sanctions will resume

Oil companies licensed to do business with Venezuela's state-run oil company have 45 days to wind down their dealings with the socialist country.

Published: April 18, 2024 1:24pm

The Biden administration announced Thursday it will reimpose sanctions on Venezuela.

“After a careful review of the current situation in Venezuela, the United States determined [Venezuelan President] Nicolas Maduro and his representatives have not fully met the commitments made under the electoral roadmap agreement,” a State Department spokesman said in a statement.

In October, the U.S. agreed to lift sanctions in exchange for Maduro holding competitive elections. The State Department announcement said that Maduro and his representatives have since engaged in anti-democratic actions, including preventing opposing candidates from registering, harassing opponents and unjustly detaining political actors associated with opposing candidates.

As a result, the department allowed the agreement to expire Thursday morning.

“We again call on Maduro to allow all candidates and parties to participate in the electoral process and release all political prisoners without restrictions or delay,” the spokesperson said.

Sanctions went into effect in November 2018 that reduced the country’s oil output from over 600,000 barrels a day to near zero by spring of 2019, according to the Energy Policy Research Foundation.

The country has been producing about 150,000 barrels a day since sanctions were lifted.

Under sanctions, U.S. companies are prohibited from doing business with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company without a license. The Wall Street Journal reports that Chevron is among the Western companies that obtained a license. The State Department is giving the licensees 45 days to wind down operations.

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