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United States to Reimpose Sanctions on Venezuela Over Failure to Make Progress on Free Elections

The United States has announced that it will not renew the temporary license that had eased sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gas sector since October. This decision is due to the lack of progress in agreements with the Government of Nicolás Maduro on free and fair elections for this year, according to a State Department spokesperson.

In the absence of progress by Maduro and his representatives in terms of implementing the provisions of the roadmap, the United States will not renew the license when it expires on April 18, 2024,” the spokesperson stated.

The United States had initially relaxed sanctions in 2022 after the Barbados agreements, with the goal of encouraging the Maduro government to hold free elections. However, this relief was temporary and conditional on progress in the electoral process.

In January, the US imposed sanctions on the gold sector in Venezuela and had warned that oil and gas licenses would not be renewed if the electoral situation did not improve.

In response to these developments, the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela confirmed the disqualification of opposition presidential candidate María Corina Machado, preventing her from participating in the upcoming elections. Machado had received significant support in the opposition primaries but was replaced by Corina Yoris after being disqualified. However, Chavismo also prevented Yoris from participating in the presidential race.

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