House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) wants to know the reasoning behind the Administration’s decision to lift sanctions on the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Rep. McCaul said he is concerned over the Administration’s recent decision.
“The regime will enrich itself from this Administration’s sanctions relief while the Venezuelan people remain without a viable path for free and fair elections,” he wrote.
The chairman said he wants clarity on the Administration’s policy toward Venezuela by November 15.
“The continued pattern by this Administration to prematurely lift sanctions on criminal regimes allied with America’s adversaries undermines US interests and national security objectives, he wrote. “I am hereby writing to request further information and urge a change from the current failed strategy of appeasement.”
Rep. McCaul requested answers to the following questions:
Can you confirm that it is the Administration’s position that lifting bans on all opposition presidential candidates remains a key condition of free and fair elections? On numerous occasions, the Administration has stated that “competitive elections” will lead to the restoration of Venezuela’s democracy. Please clarify the differences, if any, between a competitive election and a free and fair election – and the implications for US- Venezuela policy.
Can you confirm that the Administration is committed and poised to reimpose all sanctions lifted pursuant to the signing of the October 17 agreement by November 30, 2023 if the Maduro regime fails to lift all legal bans on Mrs. Machado to participate in 2024 elections, as well as establish conditions for free and fair elections, by November 30, 2023? If so,
– Will applicable sanctions be reimposed on or before December 1, 2023?
– Will the Administration commit to not issuing waivers for any transactions or activities that would have been otherwise prohibited initiated during the period during which sanctions were lifted?