Biden Administration Facing Rebuke from GOP Leader Due to Connection with Venezuelan Oil

Michael F. Hiatt/

The Biden administration is taking some heat from Republican leaders, as well as conservative media personalities. They are criticizing the president and his administration for trying to buy oil from Venezuela because of the shortage in the energy supply. This is becoming critical due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

According to The New York Times, senior U.S. government officials were traveling to Venezuela so that they could connect with Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela. They are hoping to pull the country away from its close relationship with Russia. 

During the previous administration under former President Trump, the United States cut off diplomatic efforts with Venezuela. They closed the embassy in Caracas in 2019. America also imposed sanctions on the Venezuelan oil industry. They also recognized Juan Guaido, the opposition party leader, as the legitimate president of Venezuela. 

After the sanctions from America, President Maduro reached out to Russia, Iran, and China for economic and diplomatic help. 

Venezuela has been able to continue sending oil exports after the United States sanctions because of the aid from Russian financial institutions. But now due to Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine, the country has begun to distance itself from Russia. Those who have been responsible for past negotiations, including Maduro himself, have looked to reconnect exports with the United States. 

Maduro said in a public speech, “Here lies the oil of Venezuela, which is available for whoever wants to produce and buy it, be it an investor from Asia, Europe, or the United States.”

 The Wall Street Journal also reported that Venezuela had talked to some significant firms on Wall Street so that they could put pressure on the Biden Administration to restart diplomatic conversations and possibly even lift the oil sanctions imposed against the country. 

When this became known to Republican leaders in Congress and conservative media personalities, they reacted strongly to the NYT report. Several leaders gave harsh criticisms to Biden for continuing to use imported oil to fill the shortages in the supply chain. They think America should be investing in our oil production domestically. 

Senator Marco Rubio wrote, “Joe Biden using #Russia as an excuse to do the deal they always wanted to do anyway with the #MaduroRegime. Rather than produce more American oil he wants to replace the oil we buy from one murderous dictator with oil from another murderous dictator.”

Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie joined in and simply asked if we can focus on domestic energy development. 

The House Judiciary Committee asked why Biden was more interested in getting oil from Russia, Iran, and Venezuela than from our own country. 

Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez questioned why Biden isn’t helping the United States become energy independent and instead is willing to buy oil from Maduro. Then she called the Venezuelan president “another murderous thug.” Nuñez said that the White House administration is continuing a troubling pattern that is “emboldening our enemies.”

Republican in Congress has been begging with Biden administration to invest in U.S. oil production as the prices for oil has risen over $100 per barrel. This has become critical now that the price for gas in America is averaging more than $4 per gallon. In many places, we have reached record highs at the pump. 

Senator Josh Hawley and Congresswoman Lauren Boebert have made official calls for our country to reestablish American energy independence since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Senator Ted Cruz, the Republican from Texas, along with a number of others, has joined in the challenge for the Biden administration to increase domestic production. 

All of this has not caused the Biden administration to make any moves towards domestic production. Instead, the Democrats just keep calling for more oil production from countries like Venezuela and Iran.