Source: Prensa Miraflores / EFE.
Last week, the Venezuelan government announced that they will begin offering 5 to 10 percent stakes in their domestic companies to foreign investors. In a speech on Wednesday, May 11, President Nicolás Maduro stated that the country needs “capital for the development of all public companies.” The firms that will be impacted range from telephone and internet service providers to petrochemical producers, some of which were nationalized by the late President Hugo Chávez in his bid to transform the country into a socialist state.
In a gesture intended to support talks between the Maduro regime and the Venezuelan opposition, the Biden administration announced on Tuesday an easing of economic sanctions on Venezuela. As a result, Chevron will be able to negotiate its license with the state-owned oil company PDVSA, though it will not yet be allowed to drill or export any petroleum of Venezuelan origin. Additionally, Carlos Erik Malpica-Flores, a former high-ranking PDVSA official and nephew of Venezuela’s first lady, will be removed from a list of sanctioned individuals.
On Monday, the Venezuelan opposition Unitary Platform announced that it would hold primary elections next year to choose a candidate for the 2024 presidential election. This will be the Unitary Platform’s first primary in more than a decade. On Tuesday night, following the Biden administration’s easing of economic sanctions, Gerardo Blyde, chair of the Unitary Platform’s negotiating team, and Jorge Rodríguez, a senior member of Maduro’s government, tweeted a photo of themselves shaking hands—signaling that the Venezuelan opposition and Maduro’s government have resumed negotiations in Mexico. These talks, which originally began in August 2021, were held in Mexico City and mediated by the Norwegian government until the Maduro government suspended negotiations in October.