• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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US relaxes oil sanctions on Venezuela following election agreement

united states of america

The United States has decided to ease sanctions on Venezuela following an agreement between the South American country’s government and opposition to allow international observers to monitor next year’s election.

These eased sanctions are specifically targeted at Venezuela’s oil, gas, and gold industries.

The upcoming election in Venezuela is billed to take place towards the end of next year.

However, it’s important to note that other sanctions imposed due to protest suppression and democratic erosion will remain in effect.

Washington has issued a caution, warning that the relaxation of sanctions could be reversed if the electoral pact collapses.

The US Treasury Department has granted a new general licence, permitting Venezuela, which had faced substantial sanctions since 2019, to produce and export oil to its chosen markets for the next six months.

There is no specified time limit concerning the gold sector.

The US warned Venezuela that they must “define a specific timeline and process for the expedited reinstatement of all candidates” by the end of November, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

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“All who want to run for president should be allowed the opportunity,” he said, while calling for the release of “all wrongfully detained US nationals and Venezuelan political prisoners”.

The agreement between the Venezuelan government and opposition was officially signed in Barbados on Tuesday.

This comprehensive agreement consists of 12 key points, including commitments to grant all candidates access to both public and private media outlets and to ensure their free and secure movement throughout the nation.

Both sides have also reached an accord to update voter registries, encompassing Venezuelans living within and outside the country, thus enabling the millions of emigrated Venezuelans to exercise their voting rights.

However, there remains a disagreement between the opposition and the government concerning whether the agreement permits the exclusion of opposition frontrunner María Corina Machado.

During Donald Trump’s administration, harsh sanctions were imposed on Venezuela in response to President Nicolás Maduro’s contested 2018 re-election, which the US deemed “illegitimate.”

Conversely, relations between the two countries have improved under President Joe Biden’s leadership.

It’s important to note that the United States has a vested interest in alleviating the crisis in Venezuela due to the dire state of the Andean country’s economy, which has prompted over seven million Venezuelans to emigrate, with many choosing to relocate to the US.

Furthermore, Venezuela boasts the world’s largest proven oil reserves, and a reduction in US sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry would yield economic benefits for both nations.