Patricia Garip, Vivian Salama, Kejal Vyas
The Biden administration is preparing to scale down sanctions on Venezuela’s authoritarian regime to allow Chevron Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite CVX +0.30% to resume pumping oil there , paving the way for a potential reopening of U.S. and European markets to oil exports from Venezuela, according to people familiar with the proposal.
In exchange for the significant sanctions relief, the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro would resume long-suspended talks with the country’s opposition to discuss conditions needed to hold free and fair presidential elections in 2024, the people said. The U.S., Venezuela’s government and some Venezuelan opposition figures have also worked out a deal that would free up hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan state funds frozen in American banks to pay for imports of food, medicine and equipment for the country’s battered electricity grid and municipal water systems.
U.S. officials cautioned that the deal could fall through, since it is contingent on Maduro’s top aides resuming talks with the opposition in good faith.
If the deal goes through and Chevron, along with U.S. oil service companies, are allowed to work in Venezuela again, it would put only a limited amount of new oil on the world market in the short term.
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