Venezuela rejects US 'blackmail' after reimposition of sanctions

Caracas threatens to stop accepting deportation flights from US after Washington resumes sanctions on country's oil and gas exports

11:04 - 31/01/2024 Wednesday
File Photo
File Photo

Venezuela lashed out Tuesday at the Biden administration's decision to reimpose sanctions on its oil and gas exports and threatened to stop accepting deportation flights for Venezuelan migrants living in the US without documents.

“All of Venezuela rejects the rude and improper blackmail and ultimatum expressed by the US government,” Vice President Delcy Rodriguez wrote on X.

“As of February 13, repatriation flights for Venezuelan migrants would be immediately revoked, and any existing cooperation mechanism would be reviewed as a countermeasure to the deliberate attempt to strike a blow to the Venezuelan oil and gas industry.”

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller announced Tuesday that the Biden administration would revoke the relief from the sanctions against Venezuela granted last year to the country after a high Venezuelan court blocked the candidacy of Maria Corina Machado, the main opposition candidate for the 2024 presidential elections.

“Actions by (President) Nicolas Maduro and his representatives in Venezuela, including the arrest of members of the democratic opposition and the barring of candidates from competing in this year's presidential election, are inconsistent with the agreements signed in Barbados last October,” said the statement.

The US had granted sanctions relief for Venezuela in recognition of a deal signed in Barbados with Maduro's administration that set conditions for a fair presidential election.

In a press release Tuesday, the Venezuelan government said the country “repudiates the most recent attempts at blackmail and interference in its internal affairs by the Government of the United States of America, which constitute an ultimatum against the entire Venezuelan society.”

The head of the Venezuelan government delegation in negotiations with the opposition, Jorge Rodriguez, said Monday that his country would respond severely if the US renewed sanctions against Venezuela, which were suspended last October for six months.

#Delcy Rodriguez
#deportation flights
#Matthew Miller
#Nicolas Maduro
#oil and gas exports
#Venezuelan migrants
3 months ago