US Officials in Venezuela Talking to Government of “President Maduro”

They will try to get him to undermine the coming Russian threat of an energy embargo

Venezuela was only able to export about 500,000 bpd thanks to Russia

Editor’s note: Definitely one positive from the Russian campaign in Ukraine. It has made the US more willing to talk to Venezuela (if only in order to try to protect the West from a Russian energy embargo) and given Maduro some leverage. Also, the Empire has to humiliate itself by talking to President Maduro it had proclaimed was no longer President.

What does Maduro do here? Does he settle for the kind of minimal sanctions relief limited to oil that the US will want? He should set the price much higher. He has the leverage now but the problem remains that the global hegemon is not agreement capable. Once the Americans are reasonably satisfied that Russia has been contained they will come right back at him.

The better play might be for Russia, Venezuela, and Iran to threaten a total oil embargo together now that Russia is as much a pariah as the other two.  

Quite possibly now that Russia herself is heavily sanctioned the door to more cooperation rather than less has opened up.

Senior U.S. officials are traveling to Venezuela on Saturday to meet with the government of President Nicolás Maduro, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Biden administration steps up efforts to separate Russia from its remaining international allies amid a widening standoff over Ukraine.

The trip is the highest-level visit by Washington officials to Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, in years. The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Mr. Maduro and closed its embassy in Caracas in 2019, after accusing the authoritarian leader of electoral fraud. The Trump administration then tried to topple Mr. Maduro’s government by sanctioning Venezuelan oil exports and the country’s senior officials, and by recognizing the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as Venezuela’s lawful president.

Mr. Maduro responded to the sanctions by seeking economic and diplomatic help from Russia, as well as from Iran and China. Russian energy companies and banks have been instrumental in allowing Venezuela to continue exporting oil, the country’s biggest source of foreign currency, despite the sanctions, according to U.S. officials, Venezuelan officials and businessmen.

When the U.S. and its allies began considering sanctions on Russian oil and gas exports this month to punish the country for devastation wrought in Ukraine, prominent voices affiliated with both major American political parties pointed to Venezuela as a potential substitute.

Well-connected Republicans have been involved in talks about restarting the oil trade, including Scott Taylor, a former Republican congressman from Virginia who is working with Robert Stryk, a Washington lobbyist who briefly registered to represent Mr. Maduro’s regime in 2020 and remains in contact with people around it.

Mr. Taylor said he spoke on Friday night to a Venezuelan businessman who signaled that Mr. Maduro’s team was eager to re-engage with the United States.

“We should take this opportunity to achieve a diplomatic win and a wedge between Russia and Venezuela,” he said in a statement.

Trish Regan, a former Fox Business host and conservative media personality, called for an alliance with Venezuela to displace Russian oil from the U.S. market.

“Venezuela has THE largest source of oil reserves yet, we’re handing that to the Chinese and Russians?” she wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Yuri Borisov, Russia’s deputy prime minister, traveled to Caracas to meet with Mr. Maduro’s officials. Mr. Maduro has spoken to Mr. Putin by telephone at least twice in the past month, according to statements from both governments.

It is unclear how long the U.S. delegation, which includes senior officials from the State Department and the White House, will remain in Caracas or with whom the group will meet. Spokespeople for Mr. Maduro and for the State Department and the National Security Council in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.

Before the U.S. imposed sanctions, Venezuela sent most of its oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast, whose refineries were built specifically to process Venezuela’s heavy grades of crude.

If the United States curtails the imports of Russian oil [Oil is at $130. If somebody curtails meaningful quantities of Russian oil exports it will be the Russians themselves.], Venezuela would be able to replace some of the lost supplies, said Francisco Monaldi, an expert on Venezuelan energy at Rice University in Houston.

Mr. Maduro appeared open to discussing oil deals with the United States.

“Here lies the oil of Venezuela, which is available for whomever wants to produce and buy it, be it an investor from Asia, Europe or the United States,” he said in a public speech on Thursday. [That’s probably not all he said, what’s the context?]

Mr. Maduro and other Russian allies in Latin America have begun to distance themselves from the war in Ukraine. [Nonsense.] Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba abstained or did not vote on the two resolutions proposed at the United Nations this week to condemn Russian aggression [Despite the US making it clear that an abstention was equal to being in Russia’s camp.], and the leaders of Venezuela and Cuba have called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. [Which is another way of saying that Venezuela and Cuba have refused to condemn Russia.]

Source: The New York Times

  1. Mr Reynard says

    Hmmm.. Maduro will trust a word of a Gringo ??

    1. Commenter says

      you think Maduro is some righteous guy just because US wants to control his nation? Think again. He’s a thug who sent out his thug people to kill anyone who opposed him. Oppressed natives, wasted money. Encouraged corruption that made V bankrupt. His people need to hold their leaders accountable. Whether a wasteful incompetent thug like Maduro or a US puppet. His decisions led his nation to current state so not like he can do much worse now. Leverage? His people are crossing US border and piling into other nations. He needs to do whatever can help V recover

      1. Oscar Peterson says

        So you agree that the US wants to control his nation?

        1. Commenter says

          Why can’t V control herself? US is not to blame for wasting her money, blame Maduro for that. Ask US Caribbean or any South American nation if they so love maduro they’re willing to take care of his people. US interferes with all but they have choice to resist or accept. V is too corrupt.

      2. Commenter says

        ha ha typical shills of another extreme here. Denial is why their nations remain backward.

  2. Commenter says

    This insistence that Latin America is firmly loyal on Russia side is childish video-game-fanboy thinking. Those nations aren’t about to risk their relationships with US especially fragile status of migrants legal and otherwise. US is still good place for South American poor. Cuba is a special story…

    1. Rightiswrong says

      They don’t have a relationship with the USA you muppet, the USA removed their embassy and recognition years ago!
      The US recognise One Gaydude, let them ask him to produce oil, from his rear.

      1. Commenter says

        Yes they do. Tons of Venezuelans inside US (illegally but they are there, I’ve seen them), plenty US operatives inside V. If no relationship then no talks. That scared boy mentality you have doesn’t make what YOU think right.

  3. mijj says

    US should be required to show good faith *before* negotiations by explicitly eliminating all subversive scumbaggery.  Only then proceed with roasting US nads in negotiations.

    1. Drapetomaniac says

      I suggest that Venezuela first demand compensation for the harm to their economy caused by the US. Over a long time.

      $500 billion would cover damages and fines.

      1. Commenter says

        you both have funny fantasies about US and V situation, and how politics work in general. US sanctions is one thing. Corruption filth and stupidity of V people are another. No nation is going to take blame for another’s bad leadership skills.

      2. GMC says

        And we want our Gold back !

  4. EstibenDelMar says

    Excellent news for Venezuela, at least in the short run.

    About the editor’s comment:

    “The better play might be for Russia, Venezuela, and Iran to threaten a total oil embargo together now that Russia is as much a pariah as the other two”.

    That would sound to the gringo ears like ukrania-getting-nukes sounded to the russians. And the gringos would do the same Russia is doing to Ukraine but to Venezuela. Although Vnzl has some weapons that would make the US bleed some drops, it wont stand much chance and Russia is quite far away to protect it.

    My opinion is that Maduro should go ahead doing business, any sort of it and started getting stocked with food, medicines, machineary, infaestructure, of course more russian guns, and deeper diplomatic ties with his longest lasting allies and else so when the gringos forget about their word, Maduro or his heir can transition easier than before into rougher times.

  5. George W Obama says

    Maduro should demand a return of Venezuela’s gold from the Bank of England.

    A return of all assets of Citgo. A US judge just ordered Citgo can be sold to the highest bidder.

    A recognition of Maduro as the democratically elected president of Venezuela.

    And reparations for the economic damage caused by the US sanctions.

    1. Drapetomaniac says

      I liked the suggestion of nullifying patents (and copyrights) of the US and its allies.

      That would do a lot for developing countries.

  6. ken says

    Another from the New York Slimes. The US government, its corporations and most of its citizens never keep their word… ever. They’ll screw you in the end and laugh about how easy you are. Notice it’s now MISTER Maduro. (lol) The US is so transparent.

  7. anon says

    The yankees are really in a spin are they not… buzzing frantically around all the mess they have created likes fly’s round shit…. the DARPA/CIA media-plex pounding out the lies and agit-prop 24/7… the covid psy-op a mere memory… left to Bill Gates and international organizations he bought and paid for…

    This clearly points to desperation… and I’m sure the ‘business man contact’ arranging the little soiree will be a Zionist financial jew…

    no doubt sweating blood and dollars as the empire crumbles…

    1. Kieran says

      lets hope this is the last empire these Zionist fricking a**holes can suck dry

  8. Ron says

    President Maduro should first demand ALL Venezuela’s assets “stolen by the West (i.e. UK)” be returned. Then demand the USA recognize the Maduro Government as the only sitting Government of Venezuela in order to begin negotiations. After this has been done….Maduro can politely tell the Yankee’s to “go home”.

  9. Gunz says

    My how the empire of lies has fallen. Washington is not too proud to go begging on its knees to Venezuela after shooting itself and Europe in the gut with it nuclear sanctions. 
    So the entity that stole their gold, stole their foreign reserves, launched an attempted coup to overthrow the government, launched a brutal sanction campaign against the country, pirated Iranian ships going the Venezuelan port is now begging Venezuela for its oil. Venezuela should demand return of the gold and reserves and full compensation for all the damage inflicted by Washington’s sanctions and covert activities and only after all that is done, will Venezuela consider discussing selling oil to such a criminal enterprise. And then even if it does, demand payment in full up front in gold and not in dollars. 

  10. Danny.white20 says

    Returning the gold they stole would be a good start
    Recognising the elected governement would be a good start
    Stop supporting the terrorist guy who is “Governement in Hinding” would be a good start
    Stop destroying their currency would be a good start
    But I still hope V sides with the Russians and Chinese
    And that Russia and China set up joint military complexes in V
    Including nuke missile points
    That would be awesome

  11. GMC says

    I hope Pres. Maduro told the Norte Americanos ” thank you for the meeting gentlemen. Of course, I will have to discuss this with my International oil partners first.”

    Make no mistake, the Americanos have a plan to steal the oil with the Colombian and US militaries. This was just a formality.

  12. SteveK9 says

    NY Times … funny. Maduro should demand, 1) return of stolen gold from the Bank of England, 2) Return of oil refineries in the US, 3) Return of Citgo gas stations, 4) Recognition of legitimacy of Maduro, 4) Reparations for lost revenue from 2) and 3).

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