The Latin American country’s oil could conveniently replace U.S. imports from Russia. But the regime of Nicolás Maduro has been under U.S. sanctions since 2017. Easing them would amount to accepting the lesser of two evils, with nearly 30 million Venezuelans as pawns.
Raul Castro's coming handover of Cuba's presidency is an effort to prolong beyond his own life span the communist revolution he built with late brother Fidel. Trying to modernize could also destroy it, though. And with neighbor Venezuela getting less able to provide cheap oil, economic reform can't wait.