LatinNews Daily - 30 January 2024

In brief: US begins reimposing Venezuela sanctions

*The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) has issued new restrictions on companies conducting transactions with Venezuela’s state-owned gold mining company Compañía General de Minería de Venezuela (Minerven), ordering that these have until 13 February to wind them down. The move follows the Venezuelan supreme court’s 26 January ruling upholding the disqualification of María Corina Machado, the chosen candidate of Venezuela’s opposition Plataforma Unitaria Democrática (PUD). In October the US relaxed its sanctions for six months on dealings with Minerven along with Venezuela’s oil and gas sector in line with a democratic roadmap agreed with Venezuela in Barbados for the holding of free elections. Yesterday the US National Security Council’s spokesperson, John Kirby, said that the Venezuelan authorities have until April to implement the democratic roadmap agreed in Barbados. Questioned on Machado’s disqualification Kirby said that “we certainly have options with respect to sanctions,” but “I’m not going to preview any of those at this time”. He said that President Nicolás Maduro’s administration has “until April” to “allow opposition members to run for office and release the political prisoners that they’re holding right now”.

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