Thursday, June 1, 2023

The United States is pressing Venezuela to promote political dialogue

First change: 05/17/2022 – 22:30

Washington (AFP) – The United States announced on Tuesday the relief of limited sanctions against Venezuela, including one linked to the Chevron oil company. Democrat Joe Biden made this gesture to help promote the imminent resumption of dialogue between the government of Nicolas Maduro and the opposition in Washington.

The Joe Biden Administration announced these plans in Venezuela the day after lifting a series of restrictions on Cuba, two countries that, like Nicaragua, the United States describes as dictatorships.

And, although US officials talk about “the West”, the approach of the 9th Summit of the Americas, which Biden is hosting in June in Los Angeles, may have something to do with it.

The White House has not yet shared a list of guests, but the head of the United States’ diplomacy, Brian Nichols, stated at the beginning of the month that he would not be expected to attend Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, because he does not think that to observe the rules of the people.

Mexico, for the first time in some countries of the region, the risk of a boycott event, if the countries are excluded, could then be sensitive to this relaxation of the US position.

In Venezuela, a senior US official told reporters that the decision was “linked to an agreement between both parties to resume negotiations” in Mexico City to find a solution to the Venezuelan political crisis, “as soon as possible.”

This administration Biden assumed “at the instance of the interim government” of Venezuela requested by the opposition Juan Guaidó, who the United States of America considers the legitimate president of Venezuela after Maduro assumed the second term in 2019.

Maduro’s government, until 2025 in elections declared fraudulent by several countries, and the Unitary Tribunal of Venezuela, which unites the opposition, began talks in Mexico City in mid-August to win a sharp political, economic. and it helps.

Negotiations have been stalled since October, when Maduro suspended them after rejecting the extradition to the United States of businessman Alex Saab, accused of being his figure.

But a surprise visit by emissaries of the Biden administration to Caracas in March led to the release of two Americans detained in Venezuela for years and a promise to resume talks with the opposition.

internal political conflicts

The “response to the sanctions” in Venezuela was announced on Tuesday primarily to the “limited license” granted to the US oil group Chevron in the context of the Venezuelan crude embargo, which Washington hopes to impose in Caracas in 2019. about Maduro’s power

The waiver “allows Chevron to negotiate the terms of possible future activities in Venezuela,” but “does not allow closing any new agreement with the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA,” a senior US official explained on condition of anonymity.

The US Treasury plans to unveil “another measure,” he added later.

According to reports, the United States would remove from its sanctions list Carlos Erik Malpica Flores, the grandson of the first lady of Venezuela and a former high-ranking PDVSA official.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on May 1, 2022 Yuri CORTEZ AFP

“None of these subsidies will lead to increased revenue for the government,” a senior Biden official said.

And he affirmed: “It was our hope to take on the interim government and the United Front to achieve free and fair elections through negotiations.”

In this sense, he said, the sanctions policy will be “calibrated” to reduce pressure in the event of progress to restore democracy, or increase it if the process derails.

But Biden’s decision is creating internal political tensions.

Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a prominent member of the Democratic Party of Biden, accepted a negotiated solution to the Venezuelan crisis, but said “the United States will only consider kicking back sanctions with certain levels of response.”

“Maduro is giving a few unworthy teams, so that his government promises to sit down and negotiate a plan to fail,” said Menéndez, after criticizing the measures announced in Cuba on Monday.

His Republican colleague, Marco Rubio, also disgusted by Cuba’s steps, went further, accusing Biden of “appeasing” dictators.

“We cannot allow the Marxist supporters of the Biden administration to run America’s foreign policy,” he said.

Last week, 18 lawmakers from the left wing of the Democratic Party asked Biden to lift sanctions against Venezuela and hold talks with the government of Nicolas Maduro after a “constructive mission” by the White House with a trip to Caracas in March.

With AFP

Nation World News Desk
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