No Deal with the Devils Just Yet

In light of recent moves by the US to lift some targeted energy sanctions on Venezuela to help bolster energy sanctions against Russia, we are sharing an earlier video on the difficulty the Biden administration would face in trying to rely on “partners” like Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia to limit the pain of sanctioning a major global oil and gas supplier. The challenges facing the global energy market are also a central theme in my upcoming book, The End of the World is just the Beginning, out June 14. Pre-order info here.

In an effort to ease Europe’s transition from Russian energy, the Biden administration has given the green light to two European oil companies—Italy’s Eni and Spain’s Repsol—to ship Venezuelan oil to Europe (and nowhere else) to cover debts.

This resumes a practice that was halted in 2019 by US-imposed sanctions. While this move will not drastically improve Europe’s situation, or affect global oil prices at all, it will boost Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s image in his country. For several years, the US has recognized Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s “Interim President,” despite his inability to oust President Maduro, even with ample US support.

Now the US is in the awkward position of returning to the negotiation table with Mr. Maduro, officially not the president of Venezuela, and relying on his government to ease global energy shortages. Interestingly, the Biden administration also granted permission to Chevron to partially resume operations in Venezuela, meaning the US supermajor can perform basic upkeep of its wells that it operates jointly with state-run oil giant PDVSA. Perhaps this is a hint at more to come, but at the moment Venezuelan crude will not be making its way to the US–nor will the Russian supplies of heavy crude Washington had been buying to replace it.

We will continue to post our analysis and updates on this and other topics related to the Ukraine War. This newsletter and its affiliated videologues are, and always will be, free. New subscribers can sign up here.
Finally, a reminder:
Russia’s strategic shift from thunder runs to a civilian obliteration has already forced ten million Ukrainians from their homes, with nearly four million now living in limbo in foreign lands. All proceeds from all formats of all of our previous books are being donated to the Afya Foundation, a charity which provides medical assistance to refugees from the Ukraine War.

The buttons below will direct you to our purchase pages where you can both find out a bit more about each book, as well as select purchase options ranging from e-services to your local bookstore.

Having difficulty keeping up with the chaotic and quickly-changing landscape of Russia sanctions and commodities markets or inflation?

We have been offering a series of in-depth presentations on various industries. 

So far, we’ve tackled the challenges facing energy, agriculture, industrial materials and inflation. You can purchase access to the recordings of both of these webinars via the buttons below:

Start typing and press Enter to search


Get the latest in analysis, foreign policy, economics, and world events directly from Zeihan
Only insight. No spam.