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GOP Slams Biden’s Envoy for Lavish Private Jet Trip to Venezuela

Congresistas critican a asesor de Biden para América Latina por viajar a Venezuela en jet privado

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The Biden administration restarted, after a long time, negotiations with Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s dictator. The main intention, a priori, is to reach an agreement for the lifting of the sanctions applied by Washington against the Venezuelan regime in exchange for the sale of oil by the South American country.

This rapprochement with Maduro’s dictatorship has earned the Democratic administration a lot of criticism, especially from Florida Republican politicians, who now harshly criticized Juan González, Joe Biden’s senior advisor for Latin America and who headed the American delegation in Caracas, for a photo published in a private jet paid by taxpayers.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), was among those who criticized González with messages on Instagram and Twitter.

“This is Biden’s NSC staffer for Western Hemisphere posting on Instagram like he is a celebrity as he flies in the luxury of a government jet to Caracas to meet with a narco-dictator responsible for 6 million refugees who have had to flee Venezuela,” Rubio wrote attaching a photo of González aboard a private jet.

The Republican’s tweet generated several reactions, including that of Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is leading the polls along with Trump to be the next Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential elections.

“Why is a U.S. government official even meeting with Maduro at all?” asked Pushaw.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), also echoed Rubio’s tweet to ironize about the double standard of Democrats, who constantly keep the importance of fighting climate change on their political agenda, but don’t hesitate to use gas-guzzling jets.

Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), also posted the image of González on the private jet to criticize the Biden administration and the president’s own advisor.

“While millions of Venezuelans suffer from Maduro’s regime and inflation reaches record levels in the U.S., Juan González uses public money to travel to Venezuela on a private jet. How shameful!” wrote Salazar in a tweet in Spanish.

What has Gonzalez said about the negotiations with Maduro?

In the midst of all the controversy over the meeting in Caracas with the Maduro regime, González, Biden’s advisor, spoke about the criticism against the negotiations and also about the recognition of Venezuela’s interim president, Juan Guaidó.

“We have been criticized for going to Venezuela, but that is diplomacy. It was not a negotiation. We carried a message. We are not seeking to overthrow anyone by force but the restoration to an electoral field for Venezuelans to decide their future,” Gonzalez said in statements for Actualidad Radio.

To NTN24, González asserted that the United States still recognized “Juan Guaidó, but Nicolás Maduro is the one in power at the moment” and, therefore, they cannot rule out negotiations with the socialist dictator.

Democratic administration negotiations with Maduro regime

So far, negotiations between the Biden administration and the Maduro regime do not seem to be advancing rapidly. The Venezuelan regime itself, through Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, sent a warning message to Washington in which it published images together with Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, announcing that they made a review of “our bilateral strategic relations and the complex international scenario.”

“Venezuela reasserted the principle of sovereign equality of states as a way to preserve balances for the sake of peace,” Rodriguez said.

One of Washington’s requests to lift sanctions against Caracas is the direct condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so Rodriguez’s message can be read as a warning signal to the United States: Venezuela is still with Russia, at least diplomatically.

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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