El Feed

Deal Aftermath: Sanction Lifting and Prisoner Release

The U.S. lifted key oil, gas and gold sanctions on Venezuela for six months. The relief is conditioned to the Maduro government’s commitment to fulfill the Barbados electoral agreement and releasing political prisoners. Some were released last night. The U.S. expects Venezuela to have a process defined by November to lift the bans from running for office (inhabilitaciones) on opposition candidates (supuestamente)

Carrot and Stick Sanctions Relief

The US just lifted most oil, gas and gold sanctions on Venezuela for six months including some bonds and payments to sanctioned national banks. The relief is conditioned to the Maduro government’s commitment to fulfill the Barbados electoral agreement and releasing political prisoners.

“The license will be renewed only if Venezuela meets its commitments under the electoral roadmap as well as other commitments with respect to those who are wrongfully detained”, an OFAC press release said.

The new license authorizes the production, extraction, sale and export of oil or gas from Venezuela as well as the supply of related goods and services. It also authorizes transactions with some blocked banks like the Central Bank of Venezuela and the Bank of Venezuela.

OFAC also authorized invoices for goods or services related to these sectors, new investments in sector operations in the country and the delivery of Venezuelan oil and gas to creditors of Venezuela and PDVSA (like those of the Citgo auction).

Another license authorizes operations with public gold company Minerven CVG that the US hopes will reduce Venezuelan gold trafficking.

The licenses have restrictions on operations and transactions that benefit Russian companies. Sanctions related to Iran remain in place and personal sanctions against regime officials remain in place.

Opinions? Comment below!

November Rain

US Secretary of State: “The United States has also conveyed our expectation and understanding that Venezuela will take the following steps before the end of November:

  • Define a specific timeline and process for the expedited reinstatement of all candidates. All who want to run for President should be allowed the opportunity.
  • Begin the release of all wrongfully detained U.S. nationals and Venezuelan political prisoners.”

What About Citgo?

“OFAC renewed the license suspension that prevents PDVSA 2020 noteholders from foreclosing Citgo Holding’s shares”, writes José Ignacio Hernández, a constitutional lawyer and former Special Attorney of Guaidó’s caretaker government, “More particularly, [Maduro’s] PDVSA can repay the debt regarding the pending claims in the Delaware Court.”

The Stick

VOA: “What happens in November if the bans on the main opposition pre-candidates, including María Corina Machado, are not lifted?”

Juan González, Special Advisor at the White House: “We’ll start to dismantle the [sanctions] relief we have offered.”

Recent Comments

Do You Know Where to Vote on Sunday?

If you don’t, and your access to the primaries’ official searching site is blocked by Conatel, you can go to @robertopatinog‘s Instagram and talk with AI on his direct messages. Just message him, follow the simple instructions, put your ID number and Roberto’s AI version will show you your voting center for this Sunday.

The Release of Political Prisoners Begins

Last night, soon after the sanctions were lifted, five Venezuelan political prisoners were released from prison. These include:

  • Journalist and Voluntad Popular militant Roland Carreño
  • Primero Justicia lawmaker Juan Requesens
  • Marco Antonio Garcés Carapaica, arrested because he was in the same car as a U.S. marine.
  • Eurinel Rincón, arrested for taking a picture with a persecuted opposition lawmaker.
  • Mariana Barreto, a doctor arrested for criticizing irregularities with the gasoline supply in Trujillo.

More are expected to follow.

Gerardo Blyde, head of the opposition’s delegation in the negotiations, with Ronald Carreño after his release.


Yesterday, a group of colectivos blocked the entrances and exits of the place in west Caracas where María Corina Machado was meeting with party members. A group of around 200 people -including journalists- were held inside.

Subscribe to our Feed

Previous feeds