The main project of Oil for Venezuela is the creation of a Humanitarian Oil Agreement. Decades of corruption, destruction of economic liberties, unsustainable indebtedness and a series of misguided macroeconomic policies have left the country in a precarious situation, aggravated by the collapse of the price of oil, its main export product.
Venezuela has gone through periods of deep scarcity of food and medicine, now combined with one of the fastest hyperinflations in the history of the region. GDP contraction over the last seven years has reached dimensions usually seen only in countries mired in war. Venezuela’s political conflict has escalated to a point at which a prompt resolution appears improbable. The humanitarian crisis has worsened and forced a massive exodus of million Venezuelans seeking better life conditions. The situation is worse in the countryside, were electricity cuts and long-lasting interruptions of water and gas supply affect the population.
As consequence of the deterioration and internationalization of the political conflict, several countries have applied financial and oil sanctions, and stated that they will only be lifted if conditions making possible free and fair elections are held. However, given the preexisting frailness of the Venezuelan economy, each day that goes by without a viable solution brings us closer to an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. In this context, it is urgent to design strategies that allow to attend to the most vulnerable population in a depoliticized, transparent and sustainable manner, through the use of Venezuela’s own resources: those generated by oil sales which are still controlled by the Nicolás Maduro administration.
The Humanitarian Oil Agreement constitutes, therefore, a humanitarian exception to the economic sanctions that today ban the sale of Venezuelan oil to the U.S.. The approval of this exception would accompany the creation of mechanisms that ensure that the resources managed by the system are deployed under the principles of depoliticization, transparency and sustainability.
Oil for Venezuela proposes that, under the auspices of the United Nations and oversight of the National Assembly of Venezuela, the sale of Venezuelan oil to the U.S. be allowed and that the export revenues be used exclusively to import basic products necessary for the ability of Venezuelans. These goods, which could include inputs for the electricity sector and hospital supplies, would be distributed in a depoliticized manner through internationally accredited organizations.
Implementation of this program requires the participation of three fundamental actors: the Juan Guaidó administration, the United States government, and the Nicolás Maduro administration.