On Tuesday, July 12, BBC Mundo published an interview with former United States Undersecretary of State for Venezuela and Cuba, Carrie Filipetti, where she asserted that currently the talks of the White House officials are no longer with the opposition, but with the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
The former official, who held office during Donald Trump’s administration, stressed that the foregoing is a consequence of the failure of the “excessive confidence” that the US administration gave to Venezuelan far-right groups, to “remove” the Venezuelan head of state from power.
Filipetti, in the interview, pointed out that the last two rounds of conversation between Venezuela and the United States had been carried out with the only legitimate authority that can make decisions regarding the resources of Venezuela, that is, President Maduro.
The former US official stressed that former deputy Juan Guaidó was relevant in the strategy of Trump and current US President Joe Biden, until the current global energy crisis broke out.
“Bringing high-level White House officials and our ambassadors to Venezuela and having them meet with Maduro and not meet with President Juan Guaidó sends a signal that our talks are no longer with the opposition,” Filipetti said.
On the subject of sanctions
Regarding the illegal sanctions imposed by the United States against Venezuela, the former diplomat stated: “When it comes to Maduro and Cuba, we believe that maximum pressure tends to work better than rapprochement. I think it’s important that we don’t reveal what our limits are.”
“Maximum pressure is an effective strategy, but it must be understood as part of a broader strategy, so sanctions are not there as an end point. The sanctions were there to try to encourage Maduro to come to the negotiating table,” she added.
Filipetti, in this sense, pointed out that, after the end of the Trump administration, it made sense for the new administration to calibrate the sanctions and evaluate what was working and what was not.
“It makes sense to put certain sanctions on the table, but I would be very opposed to doing it with sanctions such as those that weigh on the oil sector or those on gold, which cover a huge amount of potential income for Venezuela,” the former undersecretary continued.
Filipetti also recounted the way in which the Trump administration decided to go from unilateral coercive measures, which ended up negatively impacting the Venezuelan people’s access to basic products and supplies, to even stronger sanctions.
“It was decided to pass the sanctions on the oil sector at the beginning of January 2019. Part of the problem there was that it was difficult for Maduro to manage those sanctions, but once he did, anything else we threw at him was very minor because he had already received the biggest blow,” she said.
Currently, Filipetti is executive director of the Vandenberg Coalition, an NGO focused on promoting a US foreign policy based on defending the interests of her country over partisan positions, disregarding her far-right background.
(La IguanaTV) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune