Venezuela’s government may allow appeals by opposition politicians seeking to lift the bans that prevent them from holding public office to proceed to court as a way to meet the demands of the US left There is still a deadline attached to the easing of sanctions, sources told Reuters.
The United States announced in October a six-month reduction in some sanctions on the oil industry and lifted a ban on trade ties in exchange for an agreement on 2024 elections between President Nicolás Maduro’s government and the opposition.
Washington has said it will reverse sanctions relief if Maduro does not act by November 30 to release political prisoners and “unreasonably detain” Americans and move toward lifting restrictions on holding office in public.
The winner of the opposition’s presidential primaries, María Corina Machado, is among those barred from holding public office.
It is unclear how strongly or when the United States might react if the Venezuelan government does not act or what Maduro can do to prevent or delay a US response.
There are ongoing deliberations within the Biden administration, which is under pressure from Republicans to restore sanctions, and a decision will depend on what, if anything, Maduro does on Thursday, one of the people said. sources in Washington.
Some sources are skeptical about an immediate response from the United States and expect that the reaction may come weeks later.
Two opposition sources and another with knowledge of the matter said that the Maduro government may allow resources to attack the Supreme Court of Justice.
And the US itself expects some kind of announcement of the legal process for the restrictions, said a source in Washington, although the person added that any movement on the issue should not come this week.
The government is aware of the dissatisfaction of the population of the OPEC member country, which has suffered new economic pressures after a short break thanks to dollarization, and needs money from the increase in the sale of oil, according to this source.
Analysts previously told Reuters that rising oil revenues could allow the government to increase social spending and try to woo voters for the 2024 elections.
Uncertainty about prisoners
The government released five detainees in October, but none have been released since then.
Uncertainty remains over how many or which political prisoners might be released, opposition sources said.
The United States is focused on freeing three Americans it calls “unreasonably imprisoned,” as well as a fourth American whose exact whereabouts are unknown, a second Washington source with knowledge of the matter said. said, adding that they could be released in December or early January.
The State Department said in a statement that it does not comment on private diplomatic discussions.
“Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement will lead the United States to reverse the measures taken,” the statement added.
The United States is serious about reinstating sanctions if Maduro does not fulfill his commitments by the end of this month and has no intention of backing down from his repeated threats to reverse the sanctions relief measures, according to a person in Washington familiar with the issue.
That source said it was not yet clear how quickly the United States would move and how far it would go, but both sources said sanctions could be reinstated on the state’s gold company. Minerven.
US and Venezuelan officials have maintained contacts since their representatives last met in Qatar, two of the sources in Washington said, but they declined to say whether any progress had been made.