Siege on Russian oil due to the war opens the door to recognize Maduro

The war in ukraine by invasion from Russia by Vladimir Putin is changing the rules of the game of international politics in Latin America, especially in the story about Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, the “dictator” whom the government of Iván Duque criticized so much from Colombia.

After more than three years of the speech of the diplomatic siege of the regime, sanctions that prevented Venezuela access the international currency market, openly trade their oil, access London’s gold reserves, and even led the White House to offer a $15 million reward for the capture of Maduro, now The United States has rapprochements with Venezuela.

The War in Ukraine shuffled the cards of international politics. The West is looking for new routes to apply Putin sanctions, with the aim that the sanctions suffocate Russia’s economy and force the Kremlin to withdraw its troops in Ukraine, but those roads are leading to Venezuelawhich is one of its main allies in Latin America, along with Cuba and Nicaragua.

The support of the Kremlin is one of the cards that have allowed Maduro to remain in power, despite the complex humanitarian emergency, the migration that has expelled more than 6 million people and the hyperinflation of 2018 and 2019 that pulverized the Bolivar, the national currency.

The Russia’s relationship with Venezuela It dates from before the controversial president arrived in Miraflores. When Hugo Chavez assumed the Presidency in 1999, he put forward the thesis that the world is multipolar, so his government would not have to be talking with the same friendly countries as always, but could open up to more actors.

This approach to multipolarity was interwoven with an anti-imperialist narrative that gradually moved away from the United States, but found support in China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others.

However, the break between the United States and Venezuela It goes beyond ideologies. Nicolás Maduro and other well-known figures of Chavismo such as Diosdado Cabello, Vladimir Padrino and Tareck El Aissami are accused of being the leaders of the Cartel de los Soles, a drug-trafficking group that sends drugs from Venezuela to the United States through Caribbean sea routes. .

This is how arguments for the defense of democracy, the fight against drugs and the fight against communism have been interwoven in the discourse of the United States against Maduro’s Venezuela. The former Republican president, Donald Trump, was the architect of the banishment of Maduro, and gave rise to the story of the Duque administration and the Lima Group to condemn the Chavista and recognize Juan Guaidó as interim president.

After more than 38 months in what Nicholas Maduro was a pariah to much of the world, now the US, the creator of the sanctions, is talking to the leftist regime to explore how to buy its oil. The explanation for these approaches is almost 10,000 kilometers away from Caracas, on the border of Eastern Europe, which has been at war for 13 days.

The catalog of sanctions by the United States, the European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom and others against Russia is long and grows as the days of fighting go by trying to surround the government of Volodimir Zelensky. However, they have not achieved their goal of ending the fighting without the Western allies putting their soldiers in Ukraine.

The next step for the United States and the European Union would be to stop buying oil and gas to Russiabut before taking that measure they need to find an international supplier, which could be Venezuela: a country with the infrastructure to extract crude oil in decline, but with the reserves that the West needs to restore its demand.

If Caracas and Washington reach an agreement, Joe Biden would also be neutralizing a possible source of conflict in his backyard, since since January the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said that the Kremlin was considering deploy troops in Venezuela.

The White House and the Maduro regime they comment little on the dialogues that their emissaries have. While the war in Ukraine intensifies, forcing more than 2 million people to take refuge, in Latin America the Chavista administration in Caracas sees an open window to negotiate its permanence in power, after more than three years of being designated as a dictator.

The 59-year-old ruler was re-elected in the May 2018 electionsin which he appeared ten times on the ballot and the majority opposition decided not to participate, assuring that there were no conditions for a democratic contest.

Subsequently, the international community – led by the United States – ignored the legitimacy of the elections and declared that if Maduro took office, already in January 2019, they would ignore him as the legitimate president.

The claims were not heard and Hugo Chávez’s heir proclaimed himself president on January 5, before the Supreme Court of Justice and only with the endorsement of his allies. That oath marked the fracture of the regime with the world.

Time moved the geopolitical chess pieces. Missile fire from Russian troops in Ukraine left sparkles that were seen from Venezuelawhere the regime seems to find a way to legitimize itself, while the opposition of Juan Guaidó fades from the political map.