The US makes its move and eases sanctions on Venezuelan oil, gas and gold for six months

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The administration of Joe Biden has made a move after the signing of the partial agreement in Barbados between the government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition Unitary Platform. The Treasury Department announced this Wednesday, 24 hours after the signing on the Caribbean island, the temporary lifting of several sanctions on the sector. Venezuelan oil, gas and gold, decreed since 2019. These are “general licenses that authorize transactions and eliminate the prohibition on secondary trade.”

The established period is six months, time limit for Chavismo to advance democratic conditions for the 2024 presidential elections and also release the four American citizens imprisoned in Venezuela. In an interview given to the NTN24 channel, Brian A. Nichols, Undersecretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, made the flexibility conditional on the resolution of the disqualifications against presidential candidates, especially that of María Corina Machado, virtual winner of the opposition primaries to be held next Sunday, according to all the polls. Nichols also included the release of political prisoners, currently more than 270 in the revolutionary dungeons.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued four general licenses, but insisted that the other sanctions remain in effect. Hours earlier, the government of Trinidad and Tobago had announced that a new license for Shell to operate in the Venezuelan Dragon field and thus export the gas to your country.

With another of the licenses that authorizes transactions for the gold mining company, The US seeks to reduce the black market for gold. Venezuela and its allies, especially Russia, Turkey and several Arab countries, have created unofficial routes for gold smuggling in recent years.

The other two licenses will help Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) secondary trade in certain sovereign bonds and debt “with negligible financial benefit for the regime.”

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