Chevron Granted Permission to Pump Oil in Venezuela

After Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuelan government and his opposition made an agreement on November 26, the United States granted Chevron a temporary license to resume pumping oil in the rogue state.

  • The agreement will see an estimated $3 billion of Venezuelan state funds in overseas banks unfrozen.
  • These funds are intended for humanitarian relief and infrastructure only.
  • They will be administered by the United Nations.
  • Both Maduro’s government and the opposition committed to continued talks over free and fair elections in 2024.

A one-sided partnership? Chevron’s license is for a joint partnership with government-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA. The license stipulates:

  • Petroleos will not receive profits from Chevron’s oil sales.
  • Instead, its profits will go to repaying the $4.2 billion debt Petroleos owes Chevron.
  • Chevron is forbidden to pay taxes or royalties to the Venezuelan government.
  • The U.S. maintains the right to alter or revoke the six-month license as it sees fit.

How Venezuela benefits: Venezuela is experiencing a crippling economic crisis brought on by U.S. sanctions and Venezuela’s own corrupt economic mismanagement. While Venezuela may not gain any immediate financial benefits, it may open the door for other oil companies to reenter the beleaguered country. The nation’s once mighty oil industry lacks the money and expertise needed to resurrect itself. Licenses like the one granted to Chevron could bring back both.

Why it matters: Despite U.S. President Joe Biden’s push to normalize relations with Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro is not a friend of the U.S. But he is a close friend with one of America’s greatest enemies: Iran.

  • In June, Iran and Venezuela signed a 20-year cooperation agreement to help repair and maintain Venezuela’s oil refineries.
  • In a separate deal, Iran agreed to build and send Venezuela four tankers.
  • In June of 2021, Iran sent five tankers loaded with Iranian gasoline to aid the struggling Maduro regime.

But the relationship between the mullahs of Iran and Maduro goes far beyond economic cooperation. In many ways, Venezuela has become a staging ground for Iranian operations in South America. Iranian journalist Banafsheh Zand accused Venezuela of creating fake passports for Iranian nationals in order to infiltrate the United States.

Venezuela is the headquarters of these countries of the axis of evil [Iran, Russia and China], seeking to gain ground in South America and destabilize the West.
—Isaias Medina, former Venezuelan diplomat

The Trumpet said: During Barack Obama’s administration, the Trumpet warned that Iran was setting up a base of operations in Venezuela. The Trumpet also revealed how Obama tried to cover it up to preserve the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. Today, we are seeing the continuation of Obama’s disastrous foreign policies.