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US Threatens To Reimpose Sanctions On Venezuelan Oil Sector

US Threatens To Reimpose Sanctions On Venezuelan Oil Sector

The US has threatened to reinstate sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector, days after the South American country’s top court upheld a ban on opposition candidate María Corina Machado.

Ms Machado won a primary to become the opposition’s unity candidate for the 2024 presidential election. However, on Friday, Venezuela’s Supreme Court confirmed a 15-year ban on Ms Machado from running for public office.

Venezuela rejected the US warning as “rude and improper blackmail”. The oil industry is crucial to Venezuela’s economy.

The US imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector after President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for a second term in 2019. This was after an election widely dismissed as neither free nor fair.

The US loosened those sanctions in October after the Maduro government reached a deal with the opposition. It also lay some of the groundwork for free and fair presidential elections to be held in the second half of 2024.

Shortly after the deal was reached in Barbados, the US Treasury issued a license temporarily allowing transactions involving Venezuela’s oil and gas sector.

However, it stressed at the time that the licence would only be renewed if Venezuela “met its commitments under the electoral roadmap”. This included lifting the bans imposed on María Corina Machado and a number of other opposition candidates.

The oil exemption is due to expire on 18 April 2024. On Tuesday the US State Department announced it would not renew it.

This is unless “political progress” was made between the Maduro government and the opposition.  Particularly on allowing all presidential candidates to compete in this year’s election”.

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About Eninu William

Meet William, a seasoned news editor with a five-year experience in the fast-paced world of journalism. William's passion for storytelling and commitment to accuracy have propelled him through various roles. As a news editor, his responsibilities extend beyond just overseeing the day-to-day operations of a news team. He plays a crucial role in shaping the editorial direction of his publication, ensuring stories are not only timely and relevant but also adhere to the highest journalistic standards. With a finger on the pulse of current events and a deep understanding of the ever-evolving media landscape, William is always ahead of the curve.
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