The United States welcomes the signing of an electoral roadmap agreement between the Unitary Platform and representatives of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. “This is a concrete step toward resolution of Venezuela’s political, economic, and humanitarian crisis,” declared Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.
As a result of the agreement, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued a six-month general license temporarily authorizing transactions involving the oil and gas sector in Venezuela. It also issued a second general license authorizing dealings with Minerven – the Venezuelan state-owned gold mining company. And finally, the Treasury Department removed the secondary trading ban on certain Venezuelan sovereign bonds and Venezuelan government-owned oil and natural gas company PdVSA Debt and Equity.
In a recent briefing, a Senior State Department Official said, “The power and integrity of United States sanctions derives not only from our ability to sanction bad actors, but also to delist them. Our ultimate goal with sanctions is to bring about positive change in behavior.”
Other sanctions and restrictions imposed by the United States on Venezuela remain in place. The United States retains the authority to amend or revoke all authorizations should Maduro and his representatives fail to follow through on their commitments.
An additional concern is detained Americans in Venezuela, said a second senior administration official. “I can’t underscore enough that we need to see the beginning of the release of all wrongfully detained U.S. nationals and Venezuelan political prisoners. So, for us, in addition to the terms of the electoral roadmap, we are insisting on seeing progress in these two areas before the end of November or we’re going to have to reconsider what has been, from our perspective, a fairly significant incentive for the parties to move forward with this electoral roadmap.”
“The United States remains firmly committed to the Venezuelan people and we will continue to work with the international community to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law so that Venezuelans can rebuild their lives and their country,” said Secretary Blinken. “The United States stands with the Venezuelan people and actors who want a democratic future.”