The President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, asked his US counterpart, Joe Biden, a strategy that consists of gradually lifting the sanctions against Venezuela as there is progress in electoral matters in that country.
“It was laid out on the table a strategy that consists of holding elections first and then lifting the sanctions. Or gradually, to the extent that an election program is being implemented, for those sanctions to be lifted as well,” Petro said in White House press statements.
The Colombian leader briefly appeared before reporters after his meeting in the Oval Office of the White House with the US president and revealed that one of the topics of the meeting was the sanctions against Venezuelasomething that the Colombian wanted to prioritize.
In particular, Petro has proposed a “two-track” process, which runs in parallel.
One of those “railways” would be the lifting of the sanctions that the United States has imposed on Venezuela e the other a calendar for elections with guarantees in Venezuelaas well as the return of that State to the Inter-American System of Human Rights.
Petro’s idea is that these two aspects are communicated and move in parallel until reaching a point where the Venezuelan people can “decide freely, without pressure and without sanctions, their own destiny”.
Joe Biden’s government was open to the lifting of sanctions in Venezuela, but only if concrete steps are taken for free and fair elections, the defense of human rights will be strengthened and corruption will stop.
Sanctions on Venezuela hardened under the rule of Donald Trump (2017-2021) with economic restrictions on several Venezuelan officials, including the son of the country’s president, Nicolás “Nicolasito” Ernesto Maduro Guerra, and limits on the US operations of the company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the main source of foreign exchange for Caracas.
Biden has upheld many of these sanctions. However, in November last year, the US president cleared the oil company Chevron to resume its drilling operations in Venezuela on a limited basis.
Colombia will host next Tuesday an international conference on Venezuela where sanctions will be the order of the day and he will also try to find a way to reactivate the dialogue between Chavismo and the opposition, which has been stalled since November.
Neither the opposition nor the government of Nicolás Maduro will attend that conference, which will be attended by foreign ministers from about 20 countries, Petro said on Thursday.
The objective of this great meeting, said the Colombian leader, will be “to establish the minimum a great deal that guarantees not only the elections and the lifting of sanctions, but also the normality of all political actors in Venezuela”.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.