Advisers to US President-elect Joe Biden are preparing to negotiate with the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela in an effort to end the neighbor’s worst economic and humanitarian crisis, three officials familiar with the case said.
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Once installed in power, Biden would try to push for free and fair democratic elections in Venezuela, offering sanctions in return, the people said, asking for anonymity.
In contrast to the outgoing administration Trump, who insisted that he would only negotiate “the terms of a surrender,” an issue that Biden’s advisers would not condition because they would be open to direct dialogue.
The president-elect’s team will review existing sanctions to determine from which points it could extend restrictions, with the help of international allies, “if Maduro makes progress towards the democratic goal.”
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In this scenario, Maduro’s foreign lenders, including Russia, China and Iran, are expected to play a role, as well as Cuba, which is eager to improve relations with the United States.
Biden’s advisers mentioned the Venezuela crisis the greatest diplomatic challenge you will be facing the western hemisphere.
More than 5 million people have fled Venezuela In recent years, brutal economic upheaval punctuated by gang violence, power cuts, widespread food shortages and hostility from the left government to the opposition has escaped.
United States: Between the ruling party and the Venezuelan opposition
Nicolás Maduro expressed an interest in improving relationships when Biden took office and expressed his wish for the new administration ease the sanctions that have crushed Venezuela’s oil revenues.
According to consultancy Ecoanalitica, the Venezuelan economy is expected to shrink by a third by 2020. Domestically, Biden will keep his promise of temporary protected status, which will allow Venezuelans who have fled the regime to stay in the United States, officials said.
The truth is, one of the most thorny issues for Biden is how he claims the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president.
(In context: The US will continue to support the Venezuelan parliament elected in 2015).
The United States and more than 50 countries recognized Guaidó as interim leader in early 2019 when he assumed command of the National Assembly (AN), while rejecting the results of the recent parliamentary elections in Venezuela, where the opposition took place. the vast majority of the seats for the new NA.
The truth is, Biden will take his position just two weeks after the new AN is established in Venezuela, of which the majority of the opposition is unaware.
Despite the fact that Guaidó has been trying to arrange a telephone call with Biden since the end of November, so far without success, his efforts continue to encourage the international community continue to recognize him as AN leader and interim president of Venezuela after January 5.
(Also read: After the elections, Guaidó turned down Maduro’s offer for dialogue).
Biden, who will come to power on Jan. 20, has also said the Venezuelan president is “just a dictator,” although analysts believe he will be more moderate and advocate for international mediation for a gradual transition to a new Venezuelan government.
Cuba, another relationship that Biden is trying to transform
On the other hand, Joe Biden intends to bring his country closer to normalized relations with Cuba, by undoing many of the sanctions and regulations imposed during the Trump administration.
That strategy includes the reduction of restrictions on travel, investment and remittances for the island state, believed to harm common Americans and Cubans.
(You may be interested in: Cuba will unify its currency from January 1, 2021).
Other measures against Cuba for human rights violations will remain in effect, US government sources consulted.
The prospect of detente between Washington and Havana brings back memories of the thaw Biden helped defend during the Obama administration, when the two nations re-established diplomatic ties severed decades after Fidel Castro came to power.
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