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Potential US-Chevron deal sparks criticism from Venezuelan opposition
October 6, 2022
“Chevron, the last major U.S. oil producer still in Venezuela, reached a preliminary technical service agreement with PDVSA this year to revamp their joint ventures,” announced Reuters. The expanded license, which has yet to be reviewed by the US government, would allow Chevron and other US companies to resume oil production in Venezuela. The details of Chevron’s license request have not been made public, though the company maintains the deal is in compliance with the current US sanctions framework. The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has not yet commented on the issue.
Venezuela’s opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, “is concerned an agreement between Chevron and Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA underlying the license request would not be legal under Venezuelan law,” and has sent a letter to Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols requesting additional details of the expanded license, says Reuters. A delegation is expected to meet with US officials later this month to address concerns. Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the US National Security Council, says that despite claims to the contrary, the US “sanctions policy on Venezuela remains unchanged,” according to Reuters and Bloomberg. Any potential lifting of sanctions would be dependent upon the steps taken by the Maduro regime to ensure free and fair elections in the country.
Venezuela, once a top global oil producer, has seen a significant collapse of its oil industry in the past decade due to mismanagement, underinvestment, and corruption, and sanctions have only exacerbated the industry’s decline. A potential reopening of the country’s oil to US producers “would send a psychological signal to the market that more [oil] supply is on the way,” just as OPEC+ member countries agreed to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day, according to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. In the short term, Venezuela will not be able to fill the global demand for energy and gas caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although engaging the country “could serve as a longer-term strategy for the US and European countries,” Francisco Monaldi tells the Wall Street Journal.
A new Con Ellas Alliance report explores the experience of women in Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, noting that one in four never or rarely have access to menstrual products such as sanitary napkins.
Tensions escalated between Argentine forces and the Indigenous Mapuche community as tactical teams and anti-riot units sent after the Lafken Winkul Mapu community occupied areas of Villa Mascardi, reports Infobae.
President Alberto Fernández has voiced his support for a bill that “seeks to create a national program that would facilitate access to land and financing and enable organized collectives to produce housing themselves, eschewing commercial developers,” says NACLA.
“Bolsonaristas made unexpected headway in multiple gubernatorial races and won outright in others. Conservatives also came away the clear victors in the Congress,” write Jordi Amaral and Lucy Hale at the Latin America Risk Report, highlighting the cases of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Rio Grande do Sul, although providing Bahia as a counter-example.
Folha outlines the state of the endorsement race between Lula and Bolsonaro, with each picking up multiple new backers in recent days.
“The results showed beyond any doubt that Mr. Bolsonaro is no accident of history. It might have been possible to dismiss his surprising election four years ago, when he rose to power on a wave of widespread anti-left sentiment, as a fluke. No longer… Irrespective of the result at the end of the month, the spirits Mr. Bolsonaro animated and the politics he cultivated are here to stay,” writes Andre Pagliarini at The New York Times.
The extortion industry generates at least $1.1 billion annually across Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, reports InSight Crime.
Miami-based billionaire and developer Jorge Perez “said Colombians have been moving their money into South Florida real estate since Gustavo Petro rode a tax-the-rich campaign to the presidency this year,” notes Bloomberg.
“Despite his progressive international discourse on the need to end the war on drugs, Petro’s opponents say that his proposals would make Colombia a narco-state, and peasant organizations are concerned that land eradication by the military and police forces will continue. The State Department’s top drug official initially said publicly that he saw “a problem” in Petro’s proposals, but Secretary of State Blinken at a press conference with Petro on Monday said he “strongly supports the holistic approach that President Petro’s administration is taking,” and that the two administrations are “largely in sync” on drug policy. They did not publicly address the thorny issue of extradition,” writes Pedro Arenas at Aula Blog.
“Despite isolation and disrepair, Cuba’s largest housing project remains a place of vibrant cultural expression where residents forge their own belonging,” writes Odette Casamayor-Cisneros at NACLA.
Settlement talks for a dispute that alleges that Mexico’s energy policies breached the US - Mexico - Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) are set to extend beyond the 75 day consultation period set by the trade deal, reports Reuters.
A mother searching for her disappeared 22 year old daughter was found dead on Tuesday, becoming the fourth volunteer search activist killed in the country since early 2021, says AP.
Mexican sitcom actor Eugenio Derbez “has outperformed all contenders from the country’s traditional opposition parties, the PRI, PAN and PRD” in a September poll for the country’s 2024 presidential elections, despite not being an official candidate, writes Carin Zissis at Americas Quarterly. The entertainer reportedly has no intention of running for public office.
A small company is using new technology to turn rainfall into usable water amidst a decreasing water supply in Mexico, reports Bloomberg.
An EU-Mercosur trade deal has the potential to be signed in 2023, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo believes, reports SwissInfo. The outcome of Brazil’s elections will play a significant role in determining a potential deal’s outcome.
“Today, Uruguay boasts one of the world’s greenest grids, powered by 98 percent renewable energy,” explains The New York Times in a deep-dive into the small South American country and sustainable living.