In an interview on Fox News, COA Vice President Eric Farnsworth said that Venezeula's protests are "born of a real frustration of an economy unable to produce and supply basic goods." Despite the country's large petroleum reserves, investment in Venezuela's oil sector is declining as private companies lack incentives to continue production, said Farnsworth. Still, U.S. prices might rise as oil imports from the Andean country are "bought at market rates that probably won't stop," he added.
But the protests are more than a matter of energy, Fansworth continued, saying that social democracies and strong economies are "at the root of [U.S.] bipartisan policy." The United States has "a real dog in the fight" in terms of trying to support an open democracy in Venezuela, he said.