Seeking to isolate Russia over the Ukraine crisis, the USA is suddenly turning to Venezuela, trying to plug the hole created by its destructive sanctions.
Senior State Department and White House officials met with President Nicolás Maduro’s government in Caracas over the weekend to discuss resuming oil imports.
But, at the same time, the reason for this rapprochement happening now obviously has to do with the USA trying to insulate itself from an oil shortage after it decided to block shipments from Russia.
The United States is also trying to isolate Moscow diplomatically, seeing Venezuela as one of Russia’s key partners in the Western Hemisphere.
That’s an understandable assessment since Russia has been a lifeline for Venezuela as it grappled with devastating US sanctions.
It was the highest level communication between Venezuela and the USA since they minimized mutual diplomatic ties in 2019, after Washington recognized opposition figure Juan Guaidó as the oil rich country’s un-elected interim president.
It is certainly a positive thing for both sides that there’s rapprochement. The hostile warlike sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the USA and some of its western allies and institutions, like the IMF, had crippled the economy and spurred runaway inflation until recently.
But, if economic activity resumes with the USA this will likely help Venezuela’s economy even more – and, hopefully, the illegal sanctions may be dropped too.
However, Venezuelan officials would do well to not see this overture as anything other than strictly business in its attempt to also isolate Russia from South America.
Washington is turning to countries around the world trying to “make a case for the West” while also weakening Russian influence, including now in Latin America.
It hopes to do this by providing incentives to woo Venezuela (and other Latin American countries) away from Moscow and back into its orbit.
But joining in with Washington’s isolation of Russia now would be unwise since it’s clear that if the geopolitical circumstances were slightly different, the USA would be continuing its siege of Venezuela and its economy.
Washington is not a reliable partner for Caracas – or any other country in the region that might soon see an olive branch extended from the Biden administration.
In October 2021, the USA kidnapped and arrested Colombian businessman and Venezuelan Special Envoy Alex Saab on fabricated money laundering charges.
But there’s little doubt that the real reason behind the persecution of a legally protected diplomat was Saab’s attempts to help Venezuela maintain normal trade relations and get around the US’ sanctions.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2022.