Games Biden Plays

María Páez Victor, Orinoco Tribune, April 23, 2024 – 

During 2023, Washington made formal promises to Venezuela it had no intention of keeping. It is obvious now that the aim was to lay the groundwork for discrediting the upcoming Venezuelan presidential elections, to bolster the extreme, violent opposition parties they favour, and to waste precious diplomatic time and energy of the Venezuelan government. These duplicitous mind games can now be seen for what they are: part of the relentless efforts of successive US administrations to derail the Bolivarian Revolution and gain control over the Venezuelan natural resources, especially its petroleum industry.

Between May and September 2023, a series of meetings were carried out between the governments of Venezuela and the United States in Milan, Qatar, and Mexico[1]. The USA requested that the meetings be held in secret. As a result, in September, official representatives of each country signed two MOUs: one on the Venezuelan migration to the USA which Venezuela would help with; and the second in which the USA commits to rescind all sanctions against the country by March 5, 2024 as soon as the election process began[2]. It appeared that the penny finally had dropped in the mind of US officials: that the large number of Venezuelan migrants at their border was largely caused by the illegal sanctions the US has imposed on Venezuela. Even the New York Times has noted this [3].

The election process was begun; the deadline of March 5 came and went, but the USA did not keep its word, no sanctions have been suspended.

In October 2023, the Barbados Agreement between the two governments was publicly signed. They agreed that in the coming Venezuelan presidential elections all candidates that meet Venezuela’s Constitutional laws and electoral procedures would be allowed to run for office (Section 2 Number 11) [4]and that within this context, all sanctions against Venezuela would be lifted (Section 6) [5]. The Agreement makes no mention of María Corina Machado, nor any other opposition person. After these accords were signed, the following occurred:

Five linked conspiracies to overthrow the Venezuelan government were dismantled, including two to assassinate the president, planned with the CIA, DEA, and FBI in Colombia [6]. The perpetrators have confessed and have divulged key links to Machado and her party.

Top directors of Machado’s party, heavily involved in these conspiracies, are awaiting trial. Machado publicly claimed there could be no elections without her, that she would call for abstentions, that she had to be reinstated to politics or Washington would issue further sanctions. This endeared her to none but her fanatical extreme right followers who, contrary to what she and Washington say, are, in fact few [7]. It even enraged other opposition parties and candidates. She is infamous for repeatedly having urged the US to invade militarily her own country [8].

In the past few months, Washington issued threats demanding that their stooge, the darling of the volent fascist forces of the opposition, Machado, be allowed to run in the elections. It was no secret that in 2015—nine years ago—the Comptroller General of Venezuela, strictly following the law, disqualified Machado from standing for any public office because she refused to disclose her income as the law required [9]. Washington threatened that if she was not allowed by April 18 to run for president, they would rescind the special limited Licence 44, granted in October 2023, to allow US companies to do business in Venezuela and Venezuelan oil to be sold in the US.

The deadline of April 18 has come and gone and Biden did indeed rescind Licence 44. However, he left a little back door opened so that his own country would not suffer too much from a lack of Venezuelan oil. Licence 44A gives the US companies 45 days to “wind down” their business with Venezuela. Biden did not touch License 41 given to Chevron to export Venezuelan crude oil, because, naturally, the Texas and Louisiana refineries need that oil.

In a nutshell, through these duplicitous mind games of false promises and real threats, Washington was demanding that Venezuela set aside its Constitutional laws and electoral procedures so that the US puppet, Machado, could be a presidential candidate. They make a big show about rescinding licenses and try publicly to make fools of the Venezuelan authorities and their laws, but—hey, it’s only a game, the USA still wants your oil!

President Biden fails to understand who he is dealing with. Venezuela is no banana republic. Its Bolivarian Revolution is now 24 years old, and it has changed dramatically the social and economic structure of the country, and especially its political culture. Not a day has gone by that the Revolution has not had to fight for its life, for the life and welfare of its citizens, from US interference: CIA plots, Colombian mercenary attacks, US currency wars, internal corruption, and traitors safeguarded by Washington. Many have died and have been injured throughout these 24 years, considered martyrs to the Venezuelan desire to be a free sovereign nation without tutelage from the North.

Venezuelans overwhelmingly consider these recent US threats as a continuation of their struggle for Independence. The Venezuelan fight for Independence from Spain was the most devastating, the most widespread, and the most violent in the continent. One historian, Bartolomé Mitre, writing in1869, stated: “In none of the colonies of Spanish America was the struggle for emancipation so stubborn, so heroic, and so tragic, as in Venezuela.”

It was in Venezuela that Latin America saw its first step towards emancipation from Spain. On April 19, 1810, the Municipal Council of Caracas, with the people of the city, defied none other than Napoleon, who had usurped the Crown of Spain. This was the first step towards Independence, but the military struggle for full emancipation took more than a decade of fierce, bloody, and total warfare.

What does this history have to do with today’s Venezuela or its relation to the United States empire? Namely, that President Biden, and whoever is (badly) advising him, has failed to realize how it bears on the current events and its significance for present day politics. Venezuelans defeated one empire; they will not easily bow to another.

On April 17, 2009, President Obama went to Trinidad for a Summit of the Americas where he met President Hugo Chávez, greeting each other in a very friendly manner. However, Obama dismayed the entire region when he urged Latin Americans to “forget the past,” to forget their history. When the nations have had to suffer indigenous genocide by the Spanish Empire, and from the US Empire great indignities, terror, coups d’etat, torture, sponsoring of dictators and corruption, and foreign invasions and interventions in many guises, the one gleam of contentment and hope, apart from religion, that the people have had is in the glories of their history. To forget the past is to forget our identities as nations.

For more than two centuries the United States has attempted to dominate Latin America, to appropriate its resources, and to make it their “backyard.” But the region, especially Venezuela, has never lost sight of its history. And now, within this context, President Biden tries to blackmail Venezuela, to interfere grossly in its election process and to cripple its petroleum industry.

The people of the US venerate their history, the “Founding Fathers” of their Constitution, their flag and other national symbols. And so it should be in a healthy, contented, peaceful society. As C.S. Lewis quoted from a Greek thinker: “No man loves his city because it is great, but because it is his” [10]. In the United States, however, an unfortunate twist has been given to their concept of “patriotism”: it is indeed steeped in the belief of its own “greatness,” of some sort of divine calling, to subdue other nations. In particularly, to subdue its neighbors to the South, i.e., Latin America. Simón Bolívar succinctly said it best: “The United States of America appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of Liberty.”

The USA’s disfiguration of “love of one’s country” is written down, given a political stamp of almost “duty,” in the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. One Venezuelan writer has recently stated clearly: “They (USA)… do not seek democracies nor human rights, nor anything like it; they look only for submissive governments to grab our natural resources and seek to apply the Monroe Doctrine” [11].

How well the truth of this statement is revealed on the behaviour of the USA towards Venezuela in these past few months!

The spectre of fascism is again rearing its ugly head throughout the world. In Venezuela the extreme right-wing opposition emerges from an elite that is white supremist and fascist through and through. It has never stopped using violence to achieve its aims and has never stood for democratic principles. Yet these are the people that Washington is actively backing.

The USA’ s sanctions and threats have had consequences. Some, of course, have been very material, however they have failed spectacularly to do what they set out to do: overthrow the popular government of Nicolás Maduro. In fact, Venezuela has thrived despite the sanctions. In 2023 its increasingly diversified economy grew by more than 5% and is estimated to grow by 8% this year [12]. So, having learned to work around sanctions and threats, President Maduro knows this licence suspension will not hinder his country’s development. The sanctions, none the less, have had one clear, profound, political counter impact: the political and collective resolve never to bow down to a foreign power. To do so would be an insult to ancestors, indigenous people, and heroes of all walks of life who had created the republic.

The USA has two choices: either to cease its duplicity towards Venezuela and make real peace with it, or face international and even domestic opprobrium for which, inevitably, there will be a price to pay—in oil as Venezuela builds its exports to other markets.

Here is my advice to President Biden:

Dismiss your advisors on Latin America. They have fooled you into playing duplicitous and fruitless mind games with Venezuela. Replace them with your best HISTORIANS and have them give you some insight as to what kind of nation Venezuela was and has become. Stop kowtowing to the extremists in Florida who will never vote for you anyway. Take the brave, correct, and momentous step of changing US-Latin American relations by unilaterally eliminating sanctions against Venezuela, no strings attached.

By showing respect to the Venezuelan people and their government you will then be able to earn their respect and friendship. You might also learn what genuine diplomacy is about and what, if honestly exercised, it might accomplish without coups, threats, sanctions, and mercenaries.

Then, the United States might actually become the nation you dream it is.




[2] Those who signed for their respective countries were: Dr. Jorge Rodríguez, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, and Brian Nichols, US Under-Secretary of State.


[4] 11. The authorization will be promoted to all presidential candidates and political parties, provided they meet the requirements established to participate in the presidential election, consistent with the procedures established in Venezuelan law; also in accordance with the principles of speed, efficiency and effectiveness included in the Constitution.

[5] 6: Within the framework of the schedule agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding, the parties will continue the process of dialogue and negotiation in relation to other measures aimed at strengthening an inclusive democracy and a culture of tolerance and political coexistence, as well as respect for human rights; understanding the need for sanctions against the Venezuelan State to be lifted and claiming independence, freedom, sovereignty, immunity, territorial integrity and national self-determination as inalienable rights of the nation.

[6] Presidente Maduro denunció que EEUU diseñó planes para atentar en su contra, Aporrea, 20 April 2024;

[7] The latest Hinterlaces poll, a very reputable independent polling company, reveales that.

[8] As an example of her calling for military overthrow and invasion, view this video:

[9] She was booted out of Congress also for daring to present herself to the OAS as a representative of Panamá so she could to there and badmouth Venezuela.


[11] Luis Roa, “En pro y el contra de las sanciones para las elecciones del 18 de julio”, Aporrea, 19 April 2024,

[12] Caroline Anders, “Venezuela announces rare economic trowth of 5%; the Wall  Street journal, 16 Jan. 2024;


María Páez Victor, Ph.D. is a Venezuelan born sociologist living in Canada.


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