Caracas (OrinocoTribune.com)—The United States government confirmed that it will not renew the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) License 44, which partially and temporarily relaxed some of the illegal sanctions imposed on Venezuelan oil and gas and mining sectors.
Through a statement released on Tuesday, January 30, the US Department of State announced that General License 44, which contained these flexibilizations, will not be renewed after it expires on April 18, 2024.
“Actions by Nicolás Maduro and his representatives in Venezuela, including the arrest of members of the democratic opposition and the barring of candidates from competing in this year’s presidential election, are inconsistent with the agreements signed in Barbados last October by representatives of Nicolas Maduro and the Unitary Platform,” reads the US empire’s statement, clearly twisting the essence of the Barbados Agreement.
The Barbados Agreement clearly states that all the parties will refrain from using violence for political gains, something that was violated by the far-right opposition that plotted to execute a coup and assassination attempt on January 1, 2024. The plot involved far-right politicians including María Corina Machado. Moreover, the agreement did not provide carte blanche for disqualified politicians to get their disqualifications revoked.
VP Delcy Rodríguez responds
“Venezuela condemns the rude and improper blackmail and ultimatum announced by the United States government,” Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez responded to the US statement on Tuesday.
“If they take the wrong step of intensifying economic aggression against Venezuela, at the request of the extremist lackeys in the country, then starting from February 13, repatriation flights for Venezuelan migrants [in the US] would be immediately stopped, and any existing cooperation mechanism would be reviewed as a countermeasure against the deliberate attempt to harm the Venezuelan oil and gas industry,” Rodríguez wrote on social media. “Venezuela, inspired by its glory and historical dignity, will continue its efforts to recover the Venezuelan economy with its own efforts, rooted in national unity!”
So far in 2024, the US government has authorized 112 repatriation flights for migrants who entered the US irregularly, the US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, recently reported. Although there are no official figures about how many migrants have been returned to their countries of origin, Salazar said that the planes were destined for a total of 12 nations. Venezuela has received four such flights so far this year, same as Ecuador. Colombia has received five flights. Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador have received 48, 31, and 9 flights respectively so far in 2024.
National Assembly President Jorge Rodríguez responds to US blackmail
The president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Jorge Rodríguez, described as blackmail the ultimatum given by Washington. Rodríguez stressed that the Political-Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice ruling on disqualifications is similar to that of “April 17, 18, and 19, the day of our Cry of Independence, because that decision is res judicata.”
“Save yourselves the timeline, shitty Yankees,” said Rodríguez, paraphrasing Commander Hugo Chávez when he cut ties with the United States government due to its continuous threats against Venezuela’s sovereignty. The National Assembly president made these statements during the debate on a resolution on “Repudiation of any type of ultimatum by the US government.” The resolution was praised by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on social media.
Statement of the Venezuelan government
The Venezuelan Minister for Foreign Affairs Yvan Gil released a statement on this issue. “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela repudiates the most recent attempts of blackmail and interference in its internal affairs by the Government of the United States of America, which constitute an ultimatum against the entire Venezuelan society and, through coercion and threats, seeks to impose the coup, ignore the institutions of the Republic, apply new coercive measures, and destabilize the Venezuelan economy and the well-being of its people,” Gil wrote on social media.
Below is the full unofficial translation of the statement:
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela repudiates the most recent attempts of blackmail and interference in its affairs by the Government of the United States of America, which constitute an ultimatum against Venezuelan society and, through coercion and threats, seeks to impose a coup, ignore the institutions of the Republic, apply new coercive measures, and destabilize the Venezuelan economy and the well-being of its people.
Venezuela absolutely and unequivocally condemns the neocolonialist interventionism that Washington attempts to impose against a country that fully exercises its national sovereignty and that has the right to choose its own destiny without the constant pressure and aggression by a government complicit in massacre and genocide in Gaza, with a bloody history of human rights violations in Our America and a record of repression of its own indigenous, Afro-descendant and migrant population.
The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela calls for unity and mobilization of the Venezuelan people in defense of national sovereignty and for international solidarity to repudiate this interventionist attack that supports sectors of the oligarchy, the oligarchic families, associated with calls for the imposition of illegal sanctions in the past that have affected the national and global economy.
Venezuela will not surrender to any blackmail. Its institutions will continue to comply with the laws and the national Constitution, per the mandate of the Venezuelan people. Moreover, it will adopt all necessary measures to continue the course of economic growth and social development that it has undertaken with its own efforts, amid the hostilities applied against its citizens.
Caracas, January 30, 2024
Special for Orinoco Tribune by staff
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