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US Says is Ready to Roll back All Venezuela’s Licenses If Maduro Reneges – Bloomberg

Venezuelan leader nearing deadline to present democratic path. Maduro insists he won’t respond to ‘blackmail’ demands. Nicolas Maduro (Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg)
Venezuelan leader nearing deadline to present democratic path. Maduro insists he won’t respond to ‘blackmail’ demands. Nicolas Maduro (Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg)

Eric Martin and Andreina Itriago Acosta, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 11 20 2023

The Biden administration is prepared to revoke all licenses recently awarded to Venezuela if Nicolás Maduro doesn’t present a path toward fairer elections by the end of November.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols said “everything is on the table,” including revoking recently issued licenses allowing the export of Venezuelan oil and gas. The gesture of goodwill came as response to the signing of an electoral roadmap agreement between the Maduro government and the opposition.

“If they don’t take the agreed steps, we will remove the licenses we’ve awarded,” Nichols said in an interview Thursday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco.

Among the agreed steps was to define a process to allow all opposition candidates to run in the 2024 presidential election. The winner of Venezuela’s Oct. 22 primaries, María Corina Machado, remains banned from participating by Maduro’s government. 

Despite his comments on the potential for sanctions to return if the Maduro regime fails to comply, Nichols said that he’s “confident” that the government will live up to the deal and create a way for Machado to run.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said they also expect the release of wrongfully detained American and Venezuelan political prisoners. Maduro has repeatedly said that he will not give in to what he described as a “blackmail” demands from the US. 

bloomberg.com 11 16 2023

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