President Biden’s decision on US sanctions against Venezuela expected

This week is critical for Venezuela. While Venezuela’s authoritarian regime continues to crack down on dissidents, the US government will decide by Thursday to re-impose sanctions on the country’s vital oil industry.

In October 2023, sanctions were temporarily suspended on the condition that Venezuela take steps towards a free and fair presidential election. However, analysts believe that the regime of President Nicolas Maduro is breaking this agreement by persecuting the political opposition.

The US sanctions against Venezuela have deepened the country’s economic crisis. The country, which provides 90 per cent of its export revenue from oil, reached the highest level of oil exports in the last four years last month as a result of the agreement offered by Biden last year.

This is now in danger again. Because even though the Barbados agreement, the offer in question, has led to the release of 10 Americans and many Venezuelan political prisoners imprisoned in Venezuela, Maduro continues to crack down on his opponents and has expelled a UN human rights delegation from Venezuela.

Opposition leader excluded from the election

In the 28 July election, opposition leader Marina Corina Machado is not even on the ballot. She has been disqualified from the race and several members of her campaign team have been arrested.

Although polls show that Machado, a former right-wing congresswoman, would defeat President Maduro in a free election, Maduro is sticking to his guns.

Eyes are on US President Joe Biden, who will make his decision by Thursday this week. According to analysts, Biden has to respond to Maduro’s behaviour.

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