Maduro invites French companies to come and extract oil and gas — RT in French

The Venezuelan president wants economic players in France to reinvest in his country, while France, faced with the energy crisis, is seeking to diversify its supplies.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro invited French companies to come to his country after France pleaded, during the G7 summit, in favor of a “diversification of supplies” towards Iran and Venezuela, in order to curb the surge in prices. “President Macron! Venezuela is ready to welcome all the French companies that would like to come and produce oil and gas”, thus launched the Venezuelan president on public television on June 27.

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in Elmau, Germany, the French presidency highlighted the fact “that there are resources elsewhere that we must also explore”, in reference to the oil produced by Iran and Venezuela, two countries under US sanctions. France, which has called on all oil-producing countries to increase their production “exceptionally”, now believes that “Venezuelan oil must be able to be put back on the market”.

A French evolution in the wake of Washington?

These announcements come at the same time as the arrival of an American delegation in Venezuela on June 27 to discuss a “bilateral agenda”, which extends the discussions between Caracas and Washington that began in March. These reflect an evolution on the part of the United States, which until then considered Venezuela as a pariah.

Washington had sent a high-level delegation to Caracas in early March, a few days after the launch of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24, to consider an easing of American sanctions on oil in the context of a sharp rise in the price. of the barrel. The White House had confirmed the meeting, confining itself to indicating that the discussions had focused in particular on American “energy security”, while Venezuela exported almost all of its production to the United States before the break between the two countries.

After these discussions, Caracas released two Americans detained in Venezuela. Washington then announced, in May, a relaxation of certain sanctions against Venezuela, including one linked to the oil company Chevron, in order to promote dialogue between the government of Nicolas Maduro and the opposition: representatives of the two parties have elsewhere gathered in Oslo on June 22 and 23, 2022.

The United States and Venezuela had severed diplomatic relations in 2019 after the re-election of Nicolas Maduro in 2018 for a second term in a ballot boycotted by the opposition. In a bid to oust Hugo Chavez’s successor from power, Washington recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president and imposed a battery of sanctions on Caracas. Among them, an embargo in force since April 2019 prevents Venezuela from trading its crude oil on the American market, when this resource then represented 96% of the country’s income. Nicolas Maduro had received support from Russia to be able to continue exporting oil despite these punitive measures.

Following in the footsteps of the United States, France had also recognized Juan Guaido as interim president, arousing the anger of Caracas. Juan Guaido’s political clout has since declined considerably, however. Nicolas Maduro, excluded from the Summit of the Americas organized by the United States in early June, made an international tour from June 7 to 18 and concluded several cooperation and trade agreements, in particular with Turkey and Iran.


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