Venezuela: Maduro recognizes the rapprochement with the United States amid the invasion of Ukraine | International

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has stepped forward to confirm the meeting he held over the weekend with senior officials of the Joe Biden government at the Miraflores Palace, the seat of government in Caracas. “It has been a respectful, cordial, very diplomatic meeting,” the president described on Monday about this rapprochement between Washington and Caracas, which had not occurred since the two countries completely broke relations in 2019. “There were the flags of the United States and Venezuela, the united flags looked beautiful,” he added in a television broadcast after ten o’clock at night.

The White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, also assured this Monday that different issues had been addressed, including “energy security” and the situation of Americans arbitrarily detained in Venezuela, Maduro avoided being specific about what was discussed, but in his speech he left see some of the issues that some media outlets had already been speculating about after New York Times leak the information about the visit and the particular context that occurs, in the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while the world faces the rise in oil prices in the face of the threat of a veto on Russian production.

Maduro has assured that the state-owned “PDVSA is prepared, once it has recovered to a basic level, to produce and grow one, two and three million barrels of oil per day, if necessary, and stabilize the oil and gas market.” The decline of the industry due to years of mismanagement and the sanctioning fence led to the country reaching its historical lows in oil production last year. Currently, it produces about 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day, but oil experts say that it is far from achieving a production that can fully supply Russia’s enormous quota and have an impact on the market.

But a change in the board could occur due to the possibility that Venezuela will sell oil to the United States again to supply what Russia contributed, which precisely kept part of that market as a result of the sanctions against Maduro. The oil embargo on Russia could then relieve the Venezuelan. The South American country sold just over half a million barrels to the United States, its main client, until in 2019 the economic retaliation against the Chavista government intensified, due to the political crisis that has generated a thick record of human rights violations in Venezuela. In the midst of the siege, Russia was strengthened not only by taking the place of Venezuela as a supplier to the United States, but also financially structured the sale of Venezuelan oil in other markets amid the sanctions at the cost of deep discounts for the South American nation.

For months, the United States government has been pointing out the possibility of easing sanctions in exchange for improvements in democratic conditions in the country, on which Chavismo has made timid concessions. The American oil company Chevron has also asked to extend the licenses it has to stay in Venezuela to obtain an exemption from the Treasury Department that allows it to improve the business in four oil fields that operate in the country.

Maduro has also shown signs of harmony with the opposition and has announced that the negotiations in Mexico would be resumed, broken in protest at the arrest of Colombian businessman Alex Saab, who is facing a trial for money laundering in Miami and is designated as a figurehead. of people around Maduro. Despite the energetic defense that they have made of the diplomatic appointee, during the speech he has not mentioned or reiterated his accusation to the United States of having hit the process with this arrest. “We have decided to reactivate with great force the process of national dialogue with all the political, economic, religious, cultural factors of the country, more inclusive, broad”, he said. “If we ask Ukraine and Russia for dialogue, we have to set an example.”

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The Chavista leader has also moderated his statements on the conflict in Ukraine, going from offering total cooperation to Vladimir Putin “in the defense of that region”, as he shouted a week ago, to calling for a dialogue between the two countries, joining the positions from China and Cuba. “We are in a very dangerous moment and the political and military high command of Venezuela has decided that we ring the alert bell to the peoples and leaders of the world, to seek peace, to seek conditions that allow truly solid agreements in the negotiation process. between Russia and Ukraine”, Maduro pointed out, after expressing his concern about “the possibility of a war in Europe and its extension to other regions of the world”.

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