Biden ready to 'consider' lifting Venezuela sanctions: report

TEHRAN, Mar. 01 (MNA) – Biden would reportedly consider the move only if it sees certain steps made by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Economic measures which crippled the Latin American state's ability to sell oil and appeared to exacerbate its economic crisis were introduced by the Trump administration in an attempt to force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to resign, Sputnik reported.

The administration of US President Joe Biden is in "no rush" to lift Venezuela sanctions, an anonymous source in the White House told Reuters. According to the news agency's source, Washington would consider the move only if it sees certain steps made by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

"If the regime undertakes confidence-building measures that show that they're ready and willing to engage in real conversations with the opposition [...] if they're ready to take serious steps, then we will consider the alleviation of sanctions", the source claimed.

At the same time, the source clarified that Maduro won't be able to achieve the goal of lifting sanctions by simply imitating the negotiation process, while actually trying to buy time to "consolidate power" and drive division in the opposition ranks. Reuter's source claimed that the current US sanctions regime does not prevent Venezuela from receiving humanitarian aid and added that all failures to acquire economic assistance lie entirely in Caracas.

The Biden administration will reportedly try to modify the Trump approach toward Venezuela, which to date had failed to reach its stated goal of removing democratically-elected Venezuela President Maduro from power. The White House reportedly seeks to include other countries into the sanctions regime instead of, as was performed by the previous administration, acting in a unilateral manner.

The new US administration earlier pledged to continue to recognize opposition politician Juan Guaido as an "interim president of Venezuela", despite Maduro winning the most recent presidential election in 2018. Washington and a number of western countries refused to recognize the election results, claiming that they were fraudulent and supporting the then-head of the opposition-dominated Venezuelan parliament, Juan Guaido.

Guaido has reportedly undertaken two attempts to stage coups in the country, according to Caracas, which considers the politician to be "Washington's puppet". The purported attempts failed, including a call in April 2019 for the country's military to turn their backs on Maduro.


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