The United States will continue to exert “maximum pressure” on Venezuela through sanctions, officials told multiple media outlets, stating that President Joe Biden will maintain the more bellicose approach of his predecessor, though could ease penalties under certain conditions.
While the Biden administration has expressed willingness to scale back some sanctions on Caracas if it agrees to meet with opposition leaders, Washington’s general policy will remain the same, unnamed officials cited by the Miami Herald, McClatchy, and Reuters said on Tuesday.
“We want to be very clear about this point: Sanctions on the Maduro regime will remain in place,” said one US official familiar with the matter. “We are not doing this to reverse Trump’s maximum pressure campaign. Our policy, overall, has not changed.”
President Donald Trump embarked on ‘maximum pressure’ campaigns against a number of countries during his time in office, chief among them Iran and Venezuela, imposing layer after layer of penalties intended to isolate and cripple their economies. Biden, however, could relax sanctions on Caracas should the Nicolas Maduro government agree to sit down with opposition lawmakers in Mexico City for dialogue, the officials said.
If implemented, that sanctions relief would include a license for oil giant Chevron to begin negotiations for future business in Venezuela, as US companies are currently barred from any dealings in the country.