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Policy: Bad Timing Marks US' First Venezuela Move

Copyright © 2021 Energy Intelligence Group

The Joe Biden administration's first substantive policy move on Venezuela could be its last for a while, after the same-day arrest of opposition politician Freddy Guevara and attempts to detain opposition leader Juan Guaido, still recognized by the US as the country’s leader. These actions cast severe doubts around Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's willingness to allow free and fair elections later this year, the focal point of US policy efforts and a key criteria for US sanctions relief. Steps to potentially reinstate diesel swaps or allow payment in kind using oil cargoes may now not materialize. • Maduro's harsh actions take the steam out of US hopes for progress toward free and fair elections in November, and give the US less policy flexibility.

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