Washington’s ultimate goal – and that of the often divided Venezuelan opposition – is to push Mr. Maduro toward establishing free and fair conditions for the 2024 presidential election. In the past, he Maduro has controlled elections by banning many opposition leaders, jailing others and cooperating political parties.
Francisco Monaldi, director of the Latin American Energy Program at Rice University, said the Chevron deal is more than just symbolic. Within two years, the company could produce more than 200,000 barrels per day in Venezuela, adding to the roughly 765,000 barrels currently pumped daily, according to Argus, an industry monitor.
The issue to watch in the future, he added, is whether other companies can use the Chevron deal to pressure Washington to lift further sanctions on Venezuela.
Existing US regulations prohibit both US and foreign companies from buying Venezuelan oil. Monaldi said entities like Repsol in Spain and Reliance in India have been lobbying Washington for sanctions relief for years.
“It’s hard to justify – for the US to tell India not to buy Venezuelan oil when they are buying Venezuelan oil,” he said.
While the multibillion-dollar humanitarian aid deal still needs to be finalized, on Saturday the Venezuelan government and the opposition signed an agreement that sets out the framework for monitoring that future program. Norway will facilitate that monitoring process.
In a statement to the press, Dag Nylander, head of the Norwegian delegation to the meeting in Mexico, said that the aid program will work to improve the public health system, the national electricity system and the system. public education of the country, and that it will address the problems caused by torrential rains this year.
Julie Turkewitz reports from Bogotá, Colombia, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs from Nantucket, Massachusetts. Isayen Herrera Reporting contributions from Caracas, Venezuela.