United States officials recently flew to Venezuela to meet with President Nicolás Maduro to try and move the country away from its alignment with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is a stunning reversal from the current policy regarding the land. The Trump administration had closed the embassy there and placed stiff sanctions on the country’s oil exports because of allegations of election fraud. Trump even went as far as to have Venezuela’s opposition leader at the time appear at the State of the Union.
The state of world politics has swiftly changed in the last 24 months. Upon assuming office, Joe Biden immediately began attacking American energy. Canceling the keystone pipeline, canceling leases on Federal lands and abandoning fracking. These moves changed the US from an exporter of energy to an energy importer in record time.
Enter the war in Ukraine. It has created a situation where we send arms and money to Ukraine while importing 20 million barrels of oil a month from Russia. Biden is funding both sides of the war. This untenable situation is the reason behind the sudden interest in Maduro and Venezuela’s strategic oil and gas reserves. The United States needs to shore up its energy to have more leverage against Russia. Given that oil is a scarce resource, there are only many ways to get it.
So what signal is the Biden administration sending to the world? We are willing to trade one dictator for another if it meets our needs. It is not a surprise as President Biden has shown himself to have zero regards for our promises or our allies in the brief time he has been president (Afghanistan anyone).
One thing is for sure, President Biden refuses to get our oil from the source that would benefit us most, namely, our reserves. There is no reason to beg dictators for oil when we have all we need here. Oil over $100 a barrel helps fund Putin and his oligarchs. Unleash American energy if you want to cripple Russia and shore up strategic concerns with our energy policy. The answer does not lie in traveling to countries that hate us and begging dictators for help.