On Monday, the US Dept. of the Treasury announced that US companies will have until Feb. 13 to complete a 'wind down of transactions' with Venezuela's state-owned mining firm Minerven.1
Last week, Venezuela's top court upheld an electoral ban against opposition leader María Corina Machado despite a 2023 agreement with Washington, which guarantees sanctions relief in exchange for free and fair elections.2
Meanwhile, the US Dept. of State has said it may not renew the oil exemption due to expire on Apr. 18 unless 'political progress' between Pres. Nicolás Maduro and the opposition are made to allow 'all presidential candidates to compete in this year's election.'3
However, Venezuela's Oil Minister Pedro Tellechea stated that his country is 'prepared for any circumstance,' while Vice President Delcy Rodríguez announced that Caracas will reject migrant repatriation flights from the US from Feb. 13 if 'economic aggression' intensifies.4
Furthermore, National Assembly's president Jorge Rodríguez has warned Washington not to 'interfere' with Venezuela's internal affairs, adding the government will monitor the developments it may consider 'aggressive toward the right of this country to live in peace.'5
Six years after Maduro was re-elected in a presidential vote that the opposition boycotted, Venezuela is due for elections in 2024, but the balloting date has yet to be declared.6
Republican narrative, as provided by Voz Media. Time after time, Nicolás Maduro has shown that his regime will never hold fair presidential elections. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has insisted on easing sanctions and releasing prisoners to please Caracas. As the leader of the free world, the US must reestablish sanctions and completely cut ties with Venezuela's dictatorship.
Democratic narrative, as provided by Bloomberg. Some sanctions may be reinstated on Venezuela, but the US must refrain from pushing too hard to retain some leeway until a date for the presidential vote is set. While sanctions have so far proven to be ineffective, a moderate approach has allowed the return of undocumented migrants to Venezuela while helping keep oil prices in check. This is a nuanced and thoughtful path set by the White House.