Nicolás Maduro Predicts Joe Biden Will Lift Venezuela Sanctions Again After Sham Election

Nicolás Maduro
DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro claimed on Monday evening that, following his regime’s upcoming July 28 sham presidential “election,” the South American nation may be granted membership in the China-led BRICS economic and security bloc.

Maduro also predicted that his win in the “election” — a near-complete certainty given the full control that his authoritarian regime has on the process — may prompt leftist American President Joe Biden to once again lift oil and gas sanctions on his country.

Maduro asserted during his weekly television show, With Maduro Plus, that he will “win” the upcoming sham election and that his victory will send “such a powerful message” that the United States will lift all sanctions imposed on him and his socialist regime. On July 28, Maduro will “run” against a handful of pre-approved “opposition” rivals and Edmundo González Urrutia, a lesser-known 74-year-old diplomat granted the only legitimate opposition position on the ballot.

Venezuelan presidential candidate Edmundo González Urrutia poses for a picture during an interview with AFP in Caracas on April 24, 2024. (RONALD PENA/AFP via Getty Images)

González Urrutia’s candidacy was initially meant to be of a “placeholder” nature in the event that María Corina Machado, the opposition’s frontrunner candidate, was allowed to run. The Maduro regime banned Machado from running in any public office election.

Maria Corina Machado

María Corina Machado protests against “a new coup d’etat on the constitution” in Caracas, Venezuela, on October 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

“With the strength that these people will show after the July 28 elections, we will send such a powerful message to the world, and we will birth the miracle of a direct dialogue with the United States, and they will have to lift the sanctions,” Maduro proclaimed.

Biden, in a failed effort to entice the Maduro regime to hold a “free and fair” presidential election in 2024, temporarily lifted oil and gas sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA oil company in October 2023. The sanctions had been initially imposed in 2019 during the administration of former President Donald Trump in response to the Maduro regime’s continued human rights violations committed against its own people.

Although the sanctions relief package failed to yield the desired results for which Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had hoped — the Maduro regime simply refused to entertain the idea of free elections in Venezuela — the Biden Administration has left open the possibility of once again lifting sanctions if Maduro takes “meaningful steps” towards holding a “free and fair” election.

U.S. President Joe Biden (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Maduro also commented extensively on BRICS, saying that his regime is “intensely” working to be part of the bloc.

“God’s timing is perfect. BRICS is a new world, without hegemonism. They are the new power blocs that Commander [Hugo] Chávez dreamed of,” Maduro said. “Venezuela is on the road to the entry and organic articulation of the new powers of the world, and we have outlined them very clearly.”

Russia, which currently holds BRICS’ annual rotating chairmanship, is slated to hold the bloc’s upcoming summit in the Russian city of Kazan from October 22 to 24, 2024. Maduro has been unsuccessfully attempting to join the bloc for nearly a decade and renewed his rogue socialist regime’s bid in August 2023 at a time when the group expanded with the admission of six new countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Argentina. Saudi Arabia has not formalized its membership, however, and Argentina, after President Javier Milei took office in December 2023, declined the invitation to join.

Maduro has repeatedly attempted to court BRICS by offering Venezuela’s vast oil reserves, as the country is home to the largest proven oil reserves in the world, estimated at more than 300 billion barrels. Additionally, the socialist dictator has attempted to entice investment from BRICS member states to help boost Venezuela’s ailing economy, left in a precarious state as a result of more than two decades of socialist mismanagement.

“The financing processes of large investors from the BRICS countries — I am going to invite the  BRICS countries to come and invest in Venezuela’s fields, to come and produce in the country,” Maduro said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who visited Caracas in February, stated after meeting with Maduro that Moscow will use its position as 2024’s BRICS chairman to facilitate Venezuela’s entry into the bloc.

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.


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