Douglas Andrews / November 29, 2022

Biden’s Dirty Deal for Venezuelan Oil

Only this president could prop up an illegitimate dictator and stiff a good friend all at once.

We don’t have a lot of friends in South America these days. And with Joe Biden’s sneaky scheme to buy oil from Venezuela’s scummy socialists while stifling the production of light sweet crude from little Guyana, an erstwhile ally in the region, we now have one fewer.

“Washington policy makers occasionally make miscalculations that help American enemies, undermine development in a poor country, or harm U.S. economic interests,” writes The Wall Street Journal’s Latin American expert Mary Anastasia O'Grady. “But to nail the trifecta requires a special blend of ideological blindness and incompetence that is mercifully rare. Still, as the administration’s treatment of Guyana demonstrates, it does happen.”

It’s not just that the Venezuelan regime has a history of anti-Americanism, which former dictator Hugo Chavez bequeathed to the nation’s current strongman, Nicolás Maduro. And it’s not just that the Biden administration, by allowing Chevron to resume drilling in Venezuela, has reversed restrictions that the Trump administration had put in place in an effort to oust the illegitimately elected Maduro. No, Venezuela is also cozy with the “Death to America” mullahs of Iran.

We’ll say this about Joe Biden: He sure knows how to pick ‘em. And he sure knows how to put one over on the American people. As O'Grady explains:

The U.S. government thinks you’re a fool, dear reader. And not only because it waited until Americans were en route to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving to let news slip of a deal to increase heavy-crude output from joint ventures controlled by a dictatorship allied with Iran. Or that it expects you to believe that Venezuela is considering a return to free elections in exchange.

What does the U.S. get out of all this? Precious little, according to former Trump economist Stephen Moore: “This is the same administration … that won’t allow us to do drilling here in the United States, not in Texas, not in Oklahoma, not in Alaska, not in West Virginia. But we can pump oil from Venezuela. It makes absolutely no sense. It’s put America last energy policy they got. And by the way … when Trump left office and I helped Trump on energy policy, our whole policy was to make America totally energy independent, so we wouldn’t have to rely on countries like Venezuela and Iran and Russia.”

And yet here we are. Helping to prop up a dictatorship whose citizens were recently reduced to scavenging for morsels in the back of a garbage truck, and chasing and stoning to death a cow in a field.

Fox New’s Peter Doocy put the question to Biden talkinghead John Kirby yesterday: “Does the President think there’s some benefit to the climate to drill oil in Venezuela and not here?”

As for little Guyana, what a missed opportunity. Exxon Mobil discovered an abundance of oil in its offshore waters in 2015, and Guyana’s estimated reserves are now more than 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels. To put this in perspective, only Kuwait has more oil per capita.

“The story gets even better,” as O'Grady writes, “because the crude under Guyanese waters has low sulfur content, the opposite of the tar that comes out of Venezuela. It would be hard to dream up a more exciting narrative for a country mired in poverty.”

But, no, let’s instead do business with a guy we’ve been trying to oust for years.

None of this would’ve happened, of course, had the U.S. simply tapped into its own abundant energy reserves rather than getting ourselves over a barrel with South American socialists. Instead, Joe Biden has stiffed a friend and thereby invited the Communist Chinese into the picture. As O'Grady reports, China “is aggressively signing contracts to build infrastructure in Guyana and getting in on the oil boom.”

All while the U.S. is buying dirty crude from people who hate us.

Good to go, Joe.

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