Unless last-minute concessions are made by Maduro, the U.S. is unlikely to extend a six-month license that provided partial sanctions relief to Venezuela's oil and gas sector since October. The expiration is imminent, just after midnight EST.

While the Biden administration aims to avoid a full return to the harsh sanctions of the Trump era, concerns persist about the impact on global oil prices and potential consequences for the U.S.-Mexico border, especially with Biden seeking reelection in November.

Maduro's government has remained defiant despite warnings from Washington, emphasizing continued international engagement with Venezuela's oil industry.

A new ship crash in the US A new ship crash in the US

Deliberations within the Biden administration have explored various options, including potentially allowing oil shipments to continue while restricting the use of U.S. dollars in transactions. The decision not to renew the current license could prompt foreign partners of Venezuela's state-run oil firm to seek individual U.S. authorizations.

Republican senators have urged Biden not to renew the license, emphasizing the importance of maintaining leverage against the Maduro government.

Initial diplomatic engagements between the Biden administration and Maduro's regime were motivated in part by efforts to alleviate pressure on global oil markets amid sanctions on Russia. However, concerns about electoral integrity in Venezuela have complicated these efforts.

While Maduro has made some efforts to meet electoral commitments, such as setting an election timetable and inviting international observers, concerns remain about the exclusion of certain opposition figures and recent arrests of political activists.

As Maduro's 2018 reelection was widely criticized as illegitimate, the U.S. continues to monitor developments in Venezuela's electoral process closely.