The US will reinstate oil sanctions on Venezuela after Washington deemed that President Nicholas Maduro had not done enough to establish adequate elections.

Six months ago, the Biden administration granted sanctions relief to Venezuela through an election agreement signed in Barbados, in an effort to encourage free and fair elections in the country.

However, a senior US administration official told the Financial Times (FT) that “although the Venezuelan authorities have met some key commitments, they’ve also fallen short in several areas”, describing “a continued pattern of harassment and repression against opposition figures and civil society”.

María Corina Machado has been banned from running in the election, her selected replacement candidate was not allowed to register and some of her campaign team were arrested.

According to OPEC figures, Venezuela boosted crude production to an average of more than 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter of this year, maximising the period when sanctions were alleviated. Venezuela holds the world’s biggest oil reserves.

Speaking to the FT, Francisco Monaldi, a Venezuelan oil expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute, said: “There will be no significant impact on Venezuelan production as the general license revoked on Wednesday was not generating investment.”

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Despite the reimposition of sanctions, Washington will allow US oil giant Chevron to continue a joint venture with Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA. This will ensure that short-term impacts on Venezuela’s current production will be mitigated.

According to Asdrúbal Oliveros, the director of Caracas-based consultancy Ecoanalítica, the restated sanctions could cause Venezuela foreign income losses of around $3bn (108.79bn bolivars), and a 3.6% decrease in national income.

Oliveros told the FT: “In Maduro’s cost-benefit analysis, it was important not to cede too much political space.”