U.S. to review its sanctions policy towards Venezuela

The U.S. will review its sanctions policy towards Venezuela (photo: freepik.com) © RBC-Ukraine (CA)

The U.S. is reviewing its sanctions policy against Venezuela after a court upheld a ban that prevents presidential candidate Maria Corina Machado from holding office, according to Reuters.

The decision of Venezuela’s Supreme Court means that Machado cannot register her candidacy for the presidential elections scheduled for the second half of 2024.

“The United States is currently reviewing our Venezuela sanctions policy, based on this development and the recent political targeting of democratic opposition candidates and civil society,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

Miller referred to the court’s decision as deeply troubling as it contradicted Maduro’s promises to allow all parties to choose their presidential candidates.

Gerardo Blyde, the head of the opposition negotiating team, is demanding the court’s decision to be overturned.

“We are not asking for sanctions, that is not our job. We are looking for the process to move forward,” he told a news conference in Caracas on Saturday.

Sanctions by the U.S. against Venezuela

U.S. sanctions against Venezuela were imposed in 2019 in response to the results of presidential elections that the U.S. and other countries deemed as fraudulent. The sanctions aimed to exert pressure on the government of President Nicolas Maduro and his supporters while supporting the opposition.

During that time, the U.S. also imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil and gas company, PDVSA, which included a ban on the export of crude oil and petroleum products and froze its assets amounting to around $7 billion.

In late November 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department lifted some sanctions on Venezuela. The department allowed the American energy company Chevron to resume oil extraction activities in Venezuela.

Source: RBC Ukraine