Apr 01, 2020 07:26 UTC
  • Venezuela rejects US-proposed transition in exchange for sanctions relief

Venezuela has rejected a scheme devised by the United States that envisages the removal of sanctions on the country if the elected government in Caracas steps down.

“The Bolivarian government reiterates that Venezuela does not accept, nor will it ever accept any tutelage, from any foreign government,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in a Twitter post on Tuesday, shortly after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented the scheme.

According to Press TV, the so-called “Democratic Framework for Venezuela,” as outlined by Pompeo, requires President Maduro to resign and hand power over to a five-member council to govern Venezuela until presidential and parliamentary elections could be held later this year.

Not coincidentally, the scheme envisages the selection of four of the members of the council by the opposition-controlled National Assembly and that of the fifth — who would serve as interim president until elections are held — by the first four.

The Venezuelan opposition attempted to push a similar proposal last summer through dialog mediated by Norway, but the talks ended after Maduro’s government pulled out to protest Washington’s tightening of sanctions against it.

The US has imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela in an attempt to choke off its sources of revenue and unseat Maduro, who is a leftist politician opposed to US policies. Washington has also supported Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido, who launched an abortive coup against the elected government last year.

After Pompeo unveiled the scheme, Guaido thanked him in a Twitter post.

Washington has faced calls from the United Nations (UN) and other institutions to ease its harsh sanctions against Venezuela as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the Central American nation and as concerns rise about the country’s healthcare weakened by the US sanctions.

The US-controlled International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also rejected Venezuela’s request for a five-billion-dollar loan to help the country fight its coronavirus epidemic.