Trump administration grants Chevron license to keep drilling in Venezuela

The Department of Treasury is allowing Chevron, along with four other U.S. service suppliers, to continue operating in Venezuela despite U.S. sanctions.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that the American companies were granted special licenses that extend the time they’ll be allowed to operate in Venezuela until April 22.

Last year, the U.S. issued sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry to pressure President Nicolás Maduro to abandon socialist policies, which they credit as the source of the country’s widespread economic decline.

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Amid the country’s economic crisis, a disputed election has split country’s diplomatic ties between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is backed by the U.S.

Maduro has accused the Trump administration of orchestrating a coup to take over Venezuelan oil reserves.

Chevron, which has four joint ventures with Venezuela’s state-run oil company, produces about a fourth of the country’s oil production, with critics questioning whether the United States’ efforts to oust Maduro through sanctions will prevail over American business interests.

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.

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