The United States stated on Thursday that it does not see “a change in diplomatic relations” with Venezuela after the agreement between the regime of Nicolas Maduro and the opposition.
“We are, yes, considering Francisco Palmieri’s invitation to visit, but I believe we are not ready to define the possibility of a change in diplomatic relations beyond the process of democratic transition,” said the head of US diplomacy for in Latin America, Brian Nichols.
Palmieri, head of the diplomatic mission for Venezuela, based in Colombia since 2019 due to the breakdown of relations between Washington and Caracas, was invited by the Venezuelan dictator to visit the country.
Before that, the government of US President Joe Biden temporarily lifted sanctions on Venezuelan oil, gas and gold, as a reward for an agreement reached between the regime and the opposition on the conditions for the 2024 elections in presidency.
The United States’ approach is “a lot,” Nichols said at a virtual press conference in Spanish.
The “goal,” he added, is a “Venezuela with more democracy, more freedoms” where there are not “many humanitarian and social crises,” which will “remove migration pressures.”
Changes for Venezuela
With more than a year left until the 2024 presidential election, easing the migration crisis at the Mexican border is a priority for the Biden administration, which this week continued the “direct repatriation” of Venezuelan migrants to their country, after an agreement in Caracas.
The partial lifting of sanctions could be reversed if Maduro fails to fulfill his part of the agreement, which includes respecting an election roadmap and releasing political prisoners and the three Americans who were “wrongfully detained”. in the country.
So far Caracas has taken a step forward in releasing five “political prisoners.”
“We are seeing positive changes and we are very optimistic for the future of Venezuela,” said Nichols, who emphasized that the The purpose is to support “a process” and not a candidate.
“We are in a process to support democracy in Venezuela in general (…) I respect María Corina Machado a lot, but our goal is to support a democratic process and not a specific one man,” he said.
María Corina Machado is the favorite to win Sunday’s opposition primaries, but she cannot formalize her candidacy against Maduro because she is barred from holding public office for 15 years.
And the theme of Political disqualifications do not appear in the agreement reached in Barbados between the Chavista regime and the opposition.
Adherence to agreements
The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, stated on Wednesday that he trusts that the Venezuelan regime will resolve this matter “before the end of November” and insisted that “failure to comply with the terms of this agreement will lead to United States to change. measures”.
“I hope we don’t get to that,” Nichols said, and that we move toward “a more normal economic relationship between the United States and Venezuela.”