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When you corrode and corrupt democracy, it has consequences
How an axis of awful is blocking the oil we need from Venezuela to replace Russian oil and stop Putin

Venezuela has the largest reserves of oil on the planet. If you look at OPEC, they put Saudi Arabia as number two. Venezuela’s producing very little oil, not even enough for its own needs at this moment, when it was producing 3.2 million barrels of oil a day — 2 million barrels a day for export. If we unleash oil from Venezuela, then Putin’s profit from the invasion evaporates.

Putin is earning roughly, by my calculation, a billion dollars a day windfall from the sales of oil and gas, at prices which today hit about $118 a barrel, with natural gas going up an equal amount. So, Venezuela is the way to stop Putin’s tanks, it’s that simple. Chevron say that within three months they could bring 800,000 barrels of oil a day to the US from Venezuela, all they need is Biden to lift the Trump embargo. That 800,000 barrels a day, by the way, equals the maximum amount of oil that the US gets from Russia.

This deadly embargo of Venezuela was imposed by Donald Trump. Why is Biden continuing with Trump’s policies, which right now are enriching Putin, by keeping 2 million barrels of oil a day off the market? Keep in mind, Venezuela has invaded no one, attacked no one, and they’ve got a president that was elected, even if our State Department isn’t exactly a fan of Nicolás Maduro.

And while Biden is celebrating the fact he got Europe to cancel the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which wasn’t in operation anyway, they’re still taking 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas a year from Nord Stream 1. That 1.9 trillion cubic feet a year, which Russia provides through Nord Stream 1, can be replaced 100% by Venezuela, which according to the US Energy Information Administration is capable of over 2 trillion cubic feet of gas production a year for export. They could send this as liquid natural gas to Europe, and completely replace what they get from Nord Stream 1. But we’re not doing it, and here’s why… It’s being blocked by an axis of awful, which includes two powerful Democrats.

One is Bob Menendez, the Senator from New Jersey who’s the only sitting senator who’s ever had unanimous censure by the Senate Ethics Committee for corruption. And the other is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was deeply involved in an illegal scheme to move Democratic National Committee money to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Meanwhile Charles Koch is refusing to shutter his operations in Russia, and is using his power and influence to stop any oil flowing out of Venezuela — while refusing to support any economic sanctions on Russia. And, by the way, the Kochs also funded the Clinton administration, which helped put Putin in power. Here’s the thing; when you corrode and corrupt democracy, it has consequences.

Catch the Election Crimes Bulletin each week on KPFA’s FlashPoints News.

Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, Armed Madhouse, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits and the book and documentary, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
His latest film is Vigilante: Georgia's Vote Suppression Hitman

Palast is currently working on a new documentary Long Knife, exposing the Koch Brothers' theft of Osage oil, to be released in 2024.

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