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US decides whether to reimpose sanctions on Venezuela

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US decides whether to reimpose sanctions on Venezuela

Today is the deadline for the US to decide whether it will reimpose sanctions on Venezuela.

US officials met representatives of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Mexico this week to express concerns about Venezuela’s electoral process. Venezuela has been subjected to economic sanctions from the US and its Western allies, and promised sanction relief was likely the main incentive for Venezuelan officials to allow free elections monitored by international observers. However, Washington argues that Maduro failed to uphold commitments for free and fair elections later this year.

Particularly worrisome is the disqualification of opposition leader Maria Corina Machado, who is widely favored to win, according to polls. Maduro-aligned courts have disqualified her on charges of corruption due to her alleged support for US sanctions. That move triggered a threat from the Biden administration to reinstate the oil sanctions that it suspended last October.

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The US lifted sanctions in response to the global inflation crisis caused by the invasion of Ukraine. However, as prices have fallen to normal levels, the US may no longer feel that it needs to cooperate with Venezuela. If Maduro fails to uphold his promises in time for the July 28 presidential election, the reinstatement of sanction seems very likely.

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