Oil in Venezuela elections: Government and opposition present opposing proposals

Oil is at the center of Venezuela’s electoral debate. The industry is the engine of Venezuela’s economy and the main vehicle for U.S. dollars into the country, but has faced difficulties in recent years and runs contrary to the path proposed by candidates running for the 2024 presidential election: While the government wants to boost production, the opposition wants to sell companies.

In 2015, the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned company PDVSA, and Venezuela’s oil industry began to face difficulties. Other countries are banned from trading with the oil company, which has severely hit the country’s production. In January 2015, daily oil production was 2.5 million barrels, according to government calculations. In 2020, that number dropped to 339,000. This means that the country failed to raise $642 billion (more than R$3.3 trillion) during this period.