Report: U.S. Pressing Venezuela’s Neighbors to Help Fix Biden Sanctions Relief Disaster

The United States is urging Venezuela’s neighboring countries to help build bridges between socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition after Maduro torched a dubious deal brokered by the White House, Bloomberg reported Saturday.

Bloomberg stated that, according to anonymous individuals, two unnamed American officials met with several diplomats at the residence of the Colombian Ambassador in Washington last week and pressured the diplomats to help reconcile the socialist dictatorship and the leaders it oppresses.

A spokesperson for the Colombian embassy confirmed to Bloomberg that Ambassador Luis Gilberto Murillo hosted the meeting under the auspices of the Group of Latin America and Caribbean countries (GRULAC), a regional bloc that gathers periodically in the various member embassies in Washington.

The Maduro regime and the Venezuelan opposition engaged in negotiations in Barbados in October that resulted in an alleged agreement for the holding of a “free and fair” presidential election sometime in the second half of 2024. The administration of leftist President Joe Biden presided over the talks.

In exchange for the verbal promise to hold an election at some point, Biden rewarded the rogue socialist regime with an oil and gas sanctions relief package. Following Maduro’s refusal to commit to the terms of the agreement, the Biden administration issued an April deadline for the Maduro regime to comply with the agreements. Failure to comply will, according to NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, restore the sanctions.

Bloomberg asserted in its report that Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols and NSC Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez have stated that the goal is “not to reimpose sanctions” on the Maduro regime.

“Instead, they want to foster conditions for a fair and competitive election that includes Maduro and the opposition, the people said, asking not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak publicly,” the report read.

The report claimed that the Biden strategy to fix the mess created by Biden’s sanctions relief hinges on Colombia’s far-left President Gustavo Petro, who, immediately upon taking office in August 2022, allied himself with the Maduro regime.

“Gonzalez and US Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer are traveling to Colombia on Feb. 5 to meet counterparts and Petro himself, who they would like to mediate the conflict between Maduro and [banned opposition candidate María Corina] Machado,” the report continues.

María Corina Machado, a center-right political leader who polls show is far and away the frontrunner in truly a free and fair Venezuelan presidential election, remains banned from running for public office until 2030 after the socialist-controlled Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) recently upheld denied Machado’s appeal of the deprivation of her political rights.

Bloomberg claimed that a prospective meeting between Petro and Machado could be part of the Biden administration’s strategy – even though Maduro trapped Machado in Venezuela with a travel ban that began a decade ago.

Will Freeman, a fellow for Latin America studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told Bloomberg that given Petro’s open criticism of the United States, the “more logical” choice for a regional mediator would be Brazil’s radical leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

“If the US wants a government in South America to play this mediating role, it’s more likely they would be able to persuade Colombia’s government to do that than Brazil’s,” Freeman said. “I don’t think that same unilateral persuasion is there with Brazil.”

An unnamed Brazilian official told Bloomberg that the South American nation remains committed to the “free and fair” election agreements signed last year.

The Maduro regime is expected to begin drafting a schedule for the “free and fair” election this week.

Maduro – during an official event on Sunday to commemorate late dictator Hugo Chávez’s failed 1992 coup attempt, which the socialist regime treats as a special festivity — claimed that he will win the yet-to-be-scheduled elections “by hook or by crook.”

“The team wins, and we will win, by hook or by crook, every time,” Maduro claimed. “There. That’s all I’m saying.”

“We have been where we have been, and we are here, by the vote of the people, by the sovereign, the only one who sets, the only one who removes,” he continued. “In Venezuela, only the people rule, the surnames [referring to the opposition leadership] do not rule, nor will they ever again rule in this country. They have not been able to defeat us, nor will they be able to.”

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.


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