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Venezuela has criticized the United States’ decision to reimpose oil and gas sanctions, threatening to stop deportation flights for undocumented Venezuelan migrants in the U.S.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez expressed Venezuela’s disapproval of what she termed as the U.S. government’s “rude and improper blackmail and ultimatum” on a social media platform.

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This comes after the U.S. resumed sanctions on Venezuela, particularly impacting its oil and gas industry. These sanctions follow the Venezuelan top court’s decision to bar a leading opposition candidate from the upcoming presidential election. In response, Rodriguez stated that as of February 13, Venezuela would cancel repatriation flights for its migrants, disrupting an agreement reached with President Joe Biden for the “orderly, safe and legal repatriation” of these individuals. Rodriguez also warned that Venezuela would reassess other areas of cooperation with the U.S. as a countermeasure.

US Takes action:
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury directed U.S. entities to conclude transactions with Venezuelan state-owned miner Minerven by February 13. In addition, the U.S. Department of State announced its intention not to renew a license allowing Venezuela’s oil to be exported freely, citing actions by Nicolas Maduro and his government as contrary to agreements made in Barbados.

Digging Deeper:
The State Department’s statement referred to “General License 44,” which offers relief to Venezuela’s oil and gas sector, stating it would not be renewed upon its expiration on April 18. This decision aligns with the U.S.’s stance since 2019, when it first imposed oil sanctions on Venezuela. However, in October, the U.S. temporarily eased these sanctions in recognition of an agreement in Barbados involving political prisoner releases and conditions for fair presidential elections.


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