Bolton Pushes Privatization of Venezuela’s Oil as US Ratchets Up Pressure

As the Trump administration continues its attempt to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, the US has imposed a de facto embargo on oil from Venezuela’s state-run oil company. The new sanctions include exemptions for several US firms, including Chevron and Halliburton, to allow them to continue working in Venezuela. We speak with prize-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn about the push to privatize Venezuela’s oil.


AMY GOODMAN: So, let’s go to John Bolton, the national security adviser, on Fox Business.

JOHN BOLTON: We’re in conversation with major American companies now that are either in Venezuela or, in the case of Citgo, here in the United States. I think we’re trying to get to the same end result here. You know, Venezuela is one of the three countries I call the troika of tyranny. It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. It’d be good for the people of Venezuela. It’d be good for the people of the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s the quote of John Bolton on Fox. And at the same time, you have the United States imposing sweeping new US sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company.

ALLAN NAIRN: Well, that statement from Bolton is remarkable. And it sounds like he’s implementing the Trump doctrine of “to the victor belong the spoils, take the oil,” because what Bolton is proposing there is not just to overturn the policy of the Bolivarians, the Chávez movement; he’s talking about overturning the oil policy that existed before Chávez came to power, under the previous US — essentially, US-directed conservative governments in Venezuela. When Chávez came to power, the oil company in Venezuela was already nationalized. He inherited that. He did not suddenly nationalize an oil industry that was controlled by American corporations. It was already done by his predecessors. So, he’s actually —…

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