Oil continues to play the dominant role in the country’s fortunes more than a century after it was discovered there.
N. Maduro stated:
- Venezuela has the oil tankers, it has customers ready to buy oil from us
- It would devote part of its production to obtain the vaccines it needs
- Oil for vaccines!
- We are ready and prepared for oil for vaccines, but we will not beg anyone
In February Venezuela started its vaccination program with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.
In March the country also approved the COVID vaccine of China´s Sinopharm.
Venezuela’s oil industry was collapsing even before the oil price crash and the pandemic, due to the increasingly stricter sanctions in the U.S. maximum pressure campaign against Maduro’s regime and its sources of revenues.
In 2020 Venezuela’s oil exports plunged by 37.5 %, reaching just 626,534 barrels per day, the lowest level since the early 1940s.
The country’s foreign currency revenues - almost all of which come from crude oil sales - have plunged by 99% since 2014.
The Biden White House has stated that it is in «no rush» to remove its Venezuela sanctions, reiterating support for regime change and backing for self-proclaimed «Interim President» Juan Guaido.