Two Boys, One Tweet

Venezuelan politics can be frustrating, but never boring. Here's a bit of what's happening with PDVSA sanctions while we wait for confirmation by the Department of the Treasury

On Tuesday, The Associated Press (AP) reported that the U.S. will move to ease some sanctions to help restart talks between the opposition and the Maduro regime. According to the AP, Chevron will be allowed to negotiate their license (or JV Agreement) with PDVSA, but not drill or export Venezuelan oil. Two anonymous U.S. government sources said that Carlos Erick Malpica Flores, Cilia Flores’s nephew and former PDVSA executive, will be removed from the sanctioned list and said that these are “things that the Unitary Platform negotiated and asked for.” Delcy Rodríguez confirmed the information in a tweet. 

The Unitary Platform denied that they had asked for personal sanction relief in exchange for resuming the negotiation process. “Achieving an agreement would only happen as we see clear steps in the road to freedom and democracy,” said their first communique, where they demanded a date and a tangible agenda to go back to Mexico. Several hours later, Jorge Rodríguez and Gerardo Blyde tweeted the same message about rescuing the spirit of the negotiation (including the same picture of them shaking hands) at the exact same time—a sort of confirmation that the talks were back on.

Later, the Unitary Platform published a document announcing the start of formal conversations to plan for Mexico. 

Chavismo is responsible for the seven-month hiatus in the negotiation, something that must not be forgotten. Remember that the regime left the table in protest of Alex Saab being extradited to the U.S. And Jorge Rodríguez, consistent with the old chavista trolling strategies, then tweeted that he insisted before Blyde that Saab was a member of the delegation and he demands his participation in any future initiative. 

President Biden’s security advisor Juan González said that the U.S. isn’t lifting sanctions and won’t allow the regime to obtain income, regarding the measures to allow oil companies to operate in Venezuela. He confirmed that the concessions were made answering to the opposition’s requests and added that the sanction policy will be reevaluated depending on the progress made in the negotiations. 

The chief of the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate Bob Menéndez rejected the measures and so did Republican senator Marco Rubio: yesterday it was Cuba and today Venezuela. 

In other news:

Before Maduro’s National Assembly unanimously approved forming a commission to investigate Juan Guaidó and former President Donald Trump of a plan to kill Maduro, Iris Valera mentioned her intentions to arrest Guaidó.

  • Utopix reported that there were 53 femicides in the first quarter of the year and over 15 femicides in April. 
  • Lawyers Christon Williams and Siddiq Manzano demanded a criminal investigation on the murder of the baby who was killed when the Trinidadian Coast Guard opened fire on the boat where he was traveling with his mother. 
  • Journalist Roland Carreño’s hearing was postponed because the prosecutor and the witnesses didn’t show up in court. It was scheduled for Friday, May 20th. 
  • The director of UCAB’s Human Rights Center Eduardo Trujillo said that the international cooperation law is dangerous in a context where the justice system is used capriciously to persecute NGOs. 
  • The Observatory of Labor Conflict and Union Management counted 138 conflicts in April. 
  • Sociologist Tomás Páez Bravo, coordinator of the Venezuelan Diaspora Observatory, confirmed that the number of migrants increases every day and that around 1400 people are leaving the country every day. 
  • LGBTIQ+ rights activist Yendri Velásquez asked Baruta to legitimize LGBTQ+ citizens rights with an order condemning attacks against the community. 
  • ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan announced they’re sending 42 experts to Ukraine to investigate war crimes. Putin said that the EU policy regarding energy was “economic suicide” and Ukraine confirmed that the negotiations with Russia have stopped. 

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.