The United States reactivates sanctions against Venezuela after disqualification of María Corina Machado – El Sol de México

EU began on Monday to restore the sanctions on Venezuela and a source in President Joe Biden’s administration said a rollback of travel restrictions could be allowed to expire. oil industryafter the highest court of the South American country confirmed a ban that blocks the candidacy of the main opposition candidate in presidential elections.

In October, the United States had granted relief from sanctions on Venezuelaa member of OPEC, in recognition of an agreement for this year’s elections.

But that relaxation was conditional on President Nicolás Maduro’s government releasing certain American and opposition-linked prisoners and moving toward eliminating the bans imposed on several opposition figures.

Although Venezuela carried out a prisoner exchange in December, the Supreme Court, seen as an ally of Maduro, on Friday maintained a ban against opposition candidate María Corina Machado, confirming previous conclusions that she had supported the sanctions and thereby also caused the loss of money associated with the Venezuelan government in its assets abroad.

Several opposition members were arrested last week

In a first reinstatement of sanctions, the Treasury Department said late Monday that any U.S. entity that transacts with the company Venezuelan state gold miner, Minervenyou will have until February 13 to eliminate them.

The move came hours after a Biden administration official said the Treasury furlough, which broadly restored dealings with the Venezuelan oil industrywould expire on April 18 if Machado and other opposition figures were not allowed to run.

“Unless Maduro and his representatives in Venezuela can get back on track, specifically in regards to allowing all presidential candidates to compete in this year’s elections, we will not be in a position to renew General License 44, which provides relief to Venezuela’s oil and gas industry when it needs to be renewed in April,” the White House official said on condition of anonymity.

The official added that The United States was also considering additional unspecified measures to punish the Venezuelan government..

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said earlier Monday that US measures would depend on Maduro and his government.

“They have until spring to fulfill their commitments,” he said at a daily press conference. “They have to make decisions before we weigh what decisions we will make.”

Machado, a 56-year-old industrial engineer who overwhelmingly won the opposition primary election in October, said Monday she would not step aside in favor of a replacement.

The Court’s ruling was “judicial delinquency,” Machado said at a press conference, adding that there will still be many obstacles to overcome.

Jorge Rodríguez, a legislator who leads Maduro’s team in negotiations with the opposition, said before the Treasury decision that they were attentive to any decision from Washington.

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“If there is any aggressive action, our response will be calm, reciprocal and energetic,” Rodríguez told reporters.

Maduro repeated the same rhetoric during his weekly television show on Monday night, without directly commenting on Minerven’s decision.

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