Daily Review: Venezuela Election Deal in Peril

Daily Review: Venezuela Election Deal in Peril
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a ceremony marking the start of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 22, 2021 (AP photo by Matias Delacroix).

The U.S. government yesterday pulled back on some of the sanctions relief it offered Venezuela last year, giving companies transacting with Venezuela’s state-owned mining company two weeks to wind down operations. The move comes after Venezuela’s highest court on Friday upheld a ban on the candidacy of Maria Corina Machado, the opposition’s nominee for this year’s presidential election. (AP)

Our Take

The U.S. granted sanctions relief for a handful of sectors in Venezuela in October as part of a deal in which President Nicolas Maduro’s government agreed to allow for a competitive presidential election in 2024, including guarantees that the voting would be monitored by outside observers and that the opposition would be free to choose its own candidate.

The deal, which for Washington remained an unofficial quid pro quo, was a gamble for everyone involved:

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