Latin America

US Warns Maduro That Recent Arrest of Officials Risks Sanctions Relief Deal

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speach during a press conference to launch to the market a new oil-backed cryptocurrency called «Petro», at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, on February 20, 2018

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States warns Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that the recent arrest of officials and other public figures may risk the partial sanctions relief deal made with Washington last year, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Tuesday. The United States reached a deal with Maduro to ease certain sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry in exchange for the South American country holding a competitive, internationally monitored presidential election in 2024 and releasing so-called political prisoners. «Actions that run counter to the spirit and the letter of the Barbados Agreement will have consequences,» Miller said in a release, adding that «we urge Maduro and his representatives to adhere to the electoral roadmap agreement, including by announcing a clear timeline for the 2024 presidential election, and to reinstate all political candidates.» Miller said the United States is deeply concerned by the arrest and detention of at least 33 Venezuelans, including members of the democratic opposition, civil society, former members of the military, and journalists. Miller added that arrests without due process run contrary to the October 2023 electoral roadmap agreement signed between the Unitary Platform and Maduro’s representatives. However, on Monday, Venezuelan Prosecutor General Tarek William Saab said that the country’s security forces had thwarted preparations for five terrorist attacks and conspiracies, with 27 people detained in the case. The detainees are believed to have recruited Venezuelan military personnel and planned, in coordination with the US authorities, assassination attempts on Maduro, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez and Freddy Bernal, the governor of the Venezuelan state of Tachira. AmericasVenezuelan Defense Chief Accuses Exxon Mobil of Financing Assassination Attempts on Maduro23 January, 10:03 GMTPadrino has alleged that US oil giant Exxon Mobil sponsored preparations for the 2023 foiled assassination attempts on Maduro with the aim of exploiting the rich resources of the disputed Essequibo region.

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