The recent change in discourse by Juan Guaidó, affirming that he now aspires to negotiations with the Venezuelan government, seems to have its root in the United States that may be thinking about reversing some sanctions, just as President Nicolás Maduro had asserted a few days ago. And once again the administration of Joe Biden is urging for broad negotiations with specific deadlines to be carried out so that ”in Venezuela there are free and fair elections.” This was stated on Thursday, June 24, by Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of the US State Department.
Sherman’s post on her social media, carrying this message of the US government, was accompanied by a photo of herself with Julio Borges, one of the main promoters of the US blockade against Venezuela and the constant calls for foreign interventions in the country. In the post, Sherman assures that they had addressed in their meeting the ”restoration of democracy” and the ”humanitarian needs” of the Venezuelan people, disregarding the fact that those ”humanitarian needs” are being violated by the same inhuman blockade imposed by the United States.
When the neocolonialist authorities in the US and Europe talk about ”free and fair elections,” most Venezuelans understand it to be an euphemism for ”regime change.” Hence, this statement does not bring anything new in the US imperial tirade against Venezuela and Chavismo, although there seems to be a shift in the relationship between the Western neocolonials and their local lackeys.
Today I met with @JulioBorges to reaffirm U.S. support for efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela and address the humanitarian needs of the Venezuelan people. With our international partners, we urge time-bound, comprehensive negotiations for free and fair national elections. pic.twitter.com/6CNFq89pQb
— Wendy R. Sherman (@DeputySecState) June 24, 2021
For his part, Borges wrote in his Twitter, ”We thank Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and the government of President Biden; for receiving us and ratifying their support for democracy in Venezuela.” He also affirmed that concrete steps were addressed in the meeting with Sherman, and that they are allegedly seeking ”the restoration of democracy and the enforcement of human rights in the country.”
Le agradecemos a la subsecretaria de Estado Wendy Sherman y al gobierno del presidente Biden por recibirnos y ratificar su apoyo a la democracia en Venezuela. https://t.co/GMKK79xq6N
— Julio Borges (@JulioBorges) June 24, 2021
Although the United States insists on recognizing the fictitious ”interim government” of Juan Guaidó as legitimate, its review of its sanctions policy shows that it is lowering its guard and could, at some time in future, adjust the regime change operation. According to an article by Bloomberg, the US administration is reviewing its policy of illegal sanctions that only aim for an abusive pressure against the Venezuelan government and punishing the entire Venezuelan population.
What about the European Union?
So far none of the sanctions that the European Union (EU) has imposed on Venezuela have been lifted; however, possibilities may be opening up for this to happen, as is the case with the United States.
Since December 2020, the European bloc stopped recognizing Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, which might be the first step in reversing its criminal blockade against Venezuela.
Then, on June 18 this year, Venezuela and the EU reviewed their diplomatic relations when a meeting was held between the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza and the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell in Turkey. The meeting took place within the framework of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum (ADF).
Subsequently, on June 22, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Venezuela is entitled to challenge the unilateral coercive measures imposed against it by the European Union. Thus, now it is recognized in the EU that Venezuela has legal entity to legally contest the blockade.
Later, the EU announced that it will send a technical mission to Venezuela to evaluate whether it is possible to send an electoral observation mission for the upcoming municipal and regional elections scheduled for November 21.
The European Union and the US are directly involved in the economic crisis in Venezuela; they created the crisis by imposing sanctions, which are illegal under international law. They restricted the country’s ability to acquire its normal export revenue, fuel, and to all this is now added the blocking of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX fund, vaccines to which Venezuela is entitled, having already paid in full for them.
Elections with a new CNE
One of the premises of the United States and the European bloc to attack Venezuela was that of alleged arbitrariness existing in the National Electoral Council (CNE), which is why, according to them, there were no fair elections in the country. It is important to highlight that Venezuela has a new board of directors of the CNE, elected by the uncontested legitimacy of the new National Assembly. This new CNE board is directing all the procedures for the upcoming 21N local and regional elections.
Observing these scenarios is enough to deduce that in a short or medium term, there may come a progressive lifting of at least some of the sanctions and the inhumane blockade, a blockade that has been denounced as a crime against humanity itself.
In fact, there are certain signs already. At the beginning of June, Washington extended a license allowing transactions until the end of this year between the Venezuelan state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and the oil multinationals Chevron Corp, Halliburton, Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International. This was part of a series of licenses issued by the United States Department of Treasury.
While the Venezuelan government has announced the progressive recovery of the oil industry, which is expected to quadruple, it continues to count on the support of strategic partners such as Russia, China, Turkey, Cuba, among many others.
Featured image: Banners saying ”Sanctions are a crime” at a recent demonstration in Venezuela. File photo.
(RedRadioVE) by Daniela Jiménez, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune