As reported by the publication topnews However, the White House did not rule out easing sanctions if Maduro is ready to negotiate seriously with the opposition
The administration of President Joe Biden “will not rush” to lift U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, but will consider easing them if President Nicolas Maduro takes confidence-building steps, indicating his willingness to negotiate seriously with the opposition.
This was reported to Reuters by a White House spokesman for topnews
While making it clear that the new U.S. president is unlikely to ease sanctions in the near future, the administration official stressed that the current sanctions contain enough special provisions to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to help Venezuelans cope with economic hardships and the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, speaking for USA news today on condition of anonymity, an administration official noted that Maduro’s socialist government “actively obstructs the delivery of humanitarian aid.
This suggests that at this point, Biden is willing to maintain the sanctions, including on the oil sector, imposed by former President Donald Trump, even though they did not lead to Maduro’s removal from power.
Nevertheless, Biden intends to move away from Trump’s mostly unilateral approach of a “maximum pressure” campaign and engage more countries in finding a diplomatic solution, a White House official said.
The Biden administration has made clear to the latest news
that it would continue to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. Dozens of countries have backed Guaido since Maduro’s 2018 re-election in what Western nations have called a rigged election, though cracks have recently appeared in Guaido’s international support.
“We are in no hurry to lift sanctions,” a White House spokesman said. – If the regime makes confidence-building efforts that demonstrate their willingness and desire to engage in real dialogue with the opposition … we will consider easing the sanctions.”
The administration official did not specify what steps Maduro should take, pointing out that he should not be allowed to use negotiations as a “stalling tactic” to consolidate power and divide the opposition, which he has been accused of in the past.
Maduro, who calls Guaido an American puppet, has in no way demonstrated his willingness to make concessions. With the support of the military, as well as Russia, China, Cuba and Iran, he has rejected or ignored previous demands for such concessions.
The Biden administration also feels little urgency about Cuba, despite hopes of softening positions after Trump, often citing Havana’s support for Maduro, rolled back the warming of relations with Cuba initiated under Barack Obama.
Some of Biden’s advisers suggested he start by loosening restrictions on remittance flows from Cuban-Americans and restrictions on family travel to Cuba.
While acknowledging that such changes could have a positive impact, the White House spokesman said that changing Cuba policy was not among Biden’s top priorities, which include combating the coronavirus pandemic, economic recovery, and rebuilding international alliances.
“First things first,” the official said.
There are no signs yet of Cuba being removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism anytime soon, although the Biden administration has said that the decision at the end of the Trump presidency to return Havana to the blacklist has now become a subject of analysis.