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Venezuela releases American oil exec as Biden chases oil

Biden administration denies connection between the US-Venezuela oil talks and release of Citgo exec

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March 09, 2022

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12:07 PM

Venezuela releases American oil exec as Biden chases oil

In a gesture of goodwill, Venezuela has released two U.S. citizens being held prisoner following a meeting with high-level U.S. officials over the weekend. 

One of the prisoners was Gustavo Cárdenas, who is one of six executives at Citgo Petroleum Corp. Cárdenas was arrested in 2017 on trumped-up charges while on a business trip to the Latin American country. The other detainee was Jorge Alberto Fernandez, a Cuban American. 

The Biden administration sent the delegation to Caracas in an effort to persuade the OPEC-member country to supply the U.S. with oil in exchange for lifted sanctions. The U.S. government placed sanctions on Venezuela in 2017 due to human rights abuses by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. 

Before the sanctions, Citgo Petroleum was one of the biggest American buyers of Venezuelan oil. 

The Biden administration denies that there is a connection between the U.S.-Venezuela oil talks and the release of the Citgo executive. 

The Biden administration’s courtship of Venezuela, Russia’s strongest ally in South America, comes as Biden bans Russian oil to punish Russia for invading Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, Biden is also courting two other OPEC members who are known for their human rights abuses: Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, is being wooed aggressively by the Biden administration. The White House has even gone so far as to protect the Islamic country from indictment after confirmed plots to assassinate high-level U.S. officials, reported Frontline News. 

The U.S. government has been engaging in talks with Iran to curb its nuclear program, which according to the negotiators, is going splendidly well for Iran. 

“Iranian clerics are fighting for Iranian nuclear – national interests like lions,” said lead Russian negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov. “They fight for every comma, every word, and as a rule, quite successfully. 

“I am absolutely sincere in this regard when I say Iran got much more than it could expect,” Ulyanov continued. “Much more. Realistically speaking, Iran got more than frankly I expected, others expected. This is a matter of fact.” 

Former Acting Director of U.S. National Intelligence Richard Grenell issued a public warning regarding Biden’s negotiations with Iran. 

“The Biden team has been out-negotiated on Iran,” Grenell tweeted. “Listen to the Russian negotiator. If you think Ukraine is a crisis….wake up.” 

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