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Sen. Rick Scott Warns Biden Against Lifting Sanctions on Venezuela’s Maduro

Rick Scott - El American

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Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), warned on Wednesday that the government of Joe Biden is considering lifting sanctions against Nicolás Maduro and his regime. Scott said it is necessary for the United States to focus on a strategy that allows the return of democracy in Venezuela and not to soften the measures that have been taken.

“Nicolas Maduro is a brutal dictator who is committing genocide against his own people. President Trump was right to implement tough sanctions on the regime, and under no circumstances should President Biden soften these measures,” Rick Scott said in a statement while saying that he has received reports that he is considering lifting the measures against the Venezuelan regime.

The senator refers to a report made by Associated Press, which insinuates that Biden would be evaluating a new strategy for Venezuela, which would include the lifting of sanctions that the United States has imposed on the Venezuelan regime. The media also detailed that Nicolás Maduro is taking steps to have a rapprochement with the White House.

This strategy would mean a setback in the work carried out by the American government to promote a political change in Venezuela and would be a totally different direction from the one taken by the United States in the last two years.

As recently as March, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke by phone with Juan Guaidó, whom the White House and Congress recognize as interim president of Venezuela.

Rick Scott - Nicolás Maduro - El American
United States established sanctions against Nicolás Maduro and his regime to push for the return to democracy in Venezuela (EFE/EPA/Miraflores Press Office)

In the call, Secretary Blinken stressed the importance of a return to democracy in Venezuela through “free and fair elections”. He also reaffirmed his efforts to work with the help of like-minded allies, including the European Union, the Lima Group, the Organization of American States and the International Contact Group, to increase multilateral pressure and bring about a “peaceful democratic transition.”

Similarly, Blinken and Guaidó discussed the humanitarian needs that have caused at least 5.5 million Venezuelans to emigrate from Venezuela.

Sanctions on Nicolás Maduro and his regime

Since 2008, the United States has issued sanctions against chavismo officials. Then, in 2014, the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 was passed. This is a law to impose targeted sanctions on certain individuals in Venezuela responsible for human rights violations.

The most recent measure was on January 19 of this year, when the Treasury Department sanctioned three individuals related to the sale of oil from state-owned PDVSA to Mexico. They are: Alessandro Bazzoni, Francisco Javier D’Agostino Casado and Philipp Paul Vartan Apikian. In addition to 14 entities and six vessels considered to be part of a wider network involved in the sale of Venezuelan oil based in Mexico led by Libre Abordo, S.A. sanctioned in June 2020.

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