A US license could become a fundamental part of elections in Venezuela

El Palito oil refinery, near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, on Monday, January 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Delacroix)

Experts say the temporary relief of economic sanctions from the United States for the regime of Nicolás Maduro, which has almost ended, could be key to Venezuelan politics at a time when the opposition is looking to take on Chavismo in the next presidential election.


Especially this one General License 44, qwhich authorizes oil, gas and gold transactions and allows secondary trade, requires that Nicolás Maduro’s government abide by its commitments to the so-called Barbados Accords, where it agrees with the opposition on the path to elections. That license was for six months and expires on April 18.

A decision on License 44 depends on a US assessment of whether agreements with the opposition have been reached, said Milos Alcale, a former Venezuelan diplomat and former United Nations ambassador.

“It could be a fundamental part” to see if the possibility of registration opens up for Maria Corina Machado, disqualified for public office, or her replacement, Corina Yoris, Alcale pointed out.

After the Barbados Accord was signed between Maduro’s representatives and the opposition Unitary Platform, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued four general licenses lifting economic sanctions.

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