“Both Venezuela and Guyana have laid claim to this area, and, as a result, oil companies have generally decided not to rattle relations between the two countries by exploring for oil in the region,” Gill added. Read More “ExxonMobil, however, sought to work with the newly elected, more centrist government [in Guyana] to tap into these resources.” Acrimony ahead Tillerson still faces what is likely to be a fraught confirmation process before he can set up shop in Foggy Bottom. A point of contention will likely be Tillerson’s professed skepticism toward international sanctions an attitude that informed Exxon’s dealings with Russia and that people with knowledge ofhis business career say is likely to remain. With that aversion to sanctions, should Trump pursue a true “America First” policy with Tillerson at the diplomatic helm, tensions between Washington and Caracas may subside, or at least not worsen. Trump’s “basic outlook would suggest he will withdraw from significant international engagement,” David Smilde, a sociology professor at Tulane University, told Business Insider in reference to Trump’s potential Latin America policy . “That would probably be the best scenario for US-Venezuela relations since the US is probably the least important and effective actor in the region for mediating in the Venezuela conflict.” View photos An opposition supporter stands with the Venezuelan flag in front of police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso More (An opposition supporter stands with the Venezuelan flag in front of police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, July 27, 2016.Thomson Reuters) It’s also possible, if Trump continues his warmth toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, that Maduro could work through Moscow a close partner to Venezuela to improve ties with the US. But it’s likely that Trump’s approach to Venezuela will, in some ways, mirror that of the Obama administration and verge toward confrontation. Obama has check out this site leveled sanctions at a number of Venezuelan officials and declared the country an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy” of the US. While some Obama administration officials and Maduro himself have expressed interest in improving relations, the president has said he doesn’t “anticipate major changes in policy from the new administration” likely an accurate assessment, considering that Trump has lumped Venezuela in with Cuba for criticism over restrictions on political, social, and economic rights.
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Congress has recessed for the year, and offices are emptying as the December holidays get closer. Still, there was remarkably little lawmaker response to Friedman’s nomination this week, especially compared to the countless statements that were issued in reaction to Trump’s Cabinet picks. Democratic leaders in particular, who had eagerly blasted most of Trump’s nominations, seemed to be holding their fire on Friedman a silence that highlights the prickly politics surrounding U.S.-Israeli policy. Charles Schumer Perez’s entry opens up DNC chair race Perez’s entry opens up DNC chair race GOP ‘no’ votes on Cabinet won’t matter if Dems aren’t kept in line MORE (N.Y.), a Jewish lawmaker who will lead the Senate Democrats next year, is withholding comment on Friedman “since they haven’t spoken,” his office saidFriday. Dylan Williams, chief lobbyist at J Street, said that silence is understandable because Friedman has never played an official diplomatic role. “For the average member of Congress and their staff, he’s an unknown,” Williams saidFriday. Williams characterized Friedman’s policy priorities particularly his opposition to the two-state solution as a “total and complete departure” from the bipartisan approach to Israeli policy that’s practically defined the issue for decades. He predicated more lawmakers will condemn Friedman when they learn more about him. That bipartisanship has suffered cracks in recent years, particularly in 2015 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, invited by then-Speaker John Boehner John Boehner Trump pick signals sharp shift on Israel GOP faces daunting deadlines in 2017 Student debt is America’s most pressing economic problem MORE (R-Ohio), addressed a rare joint session of Congress in order to hammer the Obama administration for pushing its nuclear deal with Iran. That episode was significant, Williams acknowledged, but the nomination of Friedman is “potentially a significant leap” toward even greater partisan divisions.
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