Maduro's Botched English Message to Biden Draws Laughter from Venezuelan Audience

Venezuelan President Maduro's failed English message to Biden sparks laughter, as US sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry loom, with high stakes for global markets and the country's stability.

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Olalekan Adigun
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Maduro's Botched English Message to Biden Draws Laughter from Venezuelan Audience

Maduro's Botched English Message to Biden Draws Laughter from Venezuelan Audience

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's attempt to deliver a message in English to U.S. President Joe Biden during a televised address on Thursday ended in laughter from his own audience. Maduro struggled to pronounce the phrase, "If you want, I want. If you don't want, I don't want," leading to chuckles from those in attendance. Frustrated by the reaction, Maduro eventually translated the message into Spanish.

The incident occurred as Maduro asserted that Venezuela would continue its economic progress with or without licenses from the United States. The U.S. had previously approved a relief to sanctions on Venezuelan oil, but has warned that it will not renew the license when it expires on April 18, 2024, unless there is progress in the implementation of a roadmap for free and fair elections in Venezuela.

Maduro revealed that his government continues to engage in dialogue with the U.S. , but the State Department has indicated that the lifting of sanctions is conditional on progress in the electoral process, which has yet to materialize. The Venezuelan Supreme Court's recent ratification of the disqualification of an opposition presidential candidate has further exacerbated political tensions in the country.

Why this matters: The strained relationship between the U.S. and Venezuela has significant implications for the global oil market and the lives of millions of Venezuelans. The outcome of the ongoing negotiations and the upcoming presidential elections could determine the future of U.S. sanctions and Venezuela's economic and political stability.

Despite the U.S. sanctions, Maduro remained defiant, stating, "Venezuela will continue with its economic path with or without sanctions." He also dismissed the U.S. threat to reverse the relaxation of the oil embargo, claiming that the license to allow transactions with Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA is "colonialist" as it aims to monitor and control Venezuela's oil industry. Venezuela's oil production has declined from 3 million barrels per day 15 years ago to around 800,000 barrels per day currently.

Key Takeaways

  • Maduro's English message to Biden caused laughter from his own audience.
  • U.S. warned it won't renew Venezuela oil sanctions relief unless progress on free elections.
  • Venezuela-U.S. negotiations on sanctions relief have failed, Venezuela officials say.
  • Venezuela's oil production has declined from 3 million to 800,000 barrels per day.
  • Outcome of negotiations and elections could determine future of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.