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March 07, 2022

Biden Considering Easing Sanctions on Venezuela To Get More of Their Oil;
No Plans to Ease Sanctions on US Oil Industry

Natasha Bertrand

Confirming NYT: Biden admin is weighing easing sanctions on Venezuela so that it can begin producing more oil & selling it on the international market. Move would be aimed at reducing global dependence on Russian oil & isolating Russia from one of its key allies in South America.

He's also going begging to Saudi Arabia -- again.

And Saudi Arabia isn't having it.

Because the left, in another Get Trump operation, attempted to make Saudi Arabia a "paraiah" over the claimed assassination of Qatar spy Jamal Khashoggi.

President Biden's advisers are discussing a possible visit to Saudi Arabia this spring to help repair relations and convince the Kingdom to pump more oil, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: A hat-in-hand trip would illustrate the gravity of the global energy crisis driven by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Biden has chastised Saudi Arabia, and the CIA believes its de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was involved in the dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The possibility also shows how Russia's invasion is scrambling world's alliances, forcing the U.S. to reorder its priorities -- and potentially recalibrating its emphasis on human rights.

Biden officials are in Venezuela this weekend to meet with the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Some Republicans and Democrats in Washington suggest Venezuela's oil could replace Russia's, according to the New York Times.
Any visit to the Persian Gulf would come amid a busy presidential travel schedule during the next few months.

Biden will likely take trips to Japan, Spain, Germany and, potentially, Israel, Axios has also learned.

What they're saying: A White House spokesperson told Axios: "We don't have any international travel to announce at this time, and a lot of this is premature speculation."

Zoom out: President Obama visited Saudi Arabia more often than any of his predecessors, a total of four trips, but relations frayed over the wars in Yemen and Syria, as well as differences about how to deal with Iran.

President Trump made restoring the relationship a priority, and boasted about arms sales to the Kingdom.

He questioned the CIA's conclusion bin Salman was involved in Khashoggi's murder and defiantly refused to condemn him. "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

During the 2020 campaign, Biden called the Kingdom a "pariah," and early in his term, released an unclassified report assessing MBS approved the operation to "capture or kill" Khashoggi.

Zoom in: Bin Salman isn't making it easier on Biden to repair their relations.

He appeared to go out of his way to aggravate the White House during an interview with the Atlantic published last week.

"We don't have the right to lecture you in America," he said. "The same goes the other way."

Lot of world leaders the Smart People who Really Care About Peace and International Order have made enemies of in order to bring down Trump, eh?


Joe Biden is frantically searching the globe to see if anyone but Texas might have some spare oil.

Abigail Marone @abigailmarone

Pad the pockets of Putin? That's what the Biden Administration is doing RIGHT NOW.

We are purchasing over 670,000 barrels of oil *PER DAY* from Russia.

Secretary of Transportation, everyone:

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:35 PM

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