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U.S. plans sweeping measures against Venezuela, Bolton says

AP/Jessica Hill

US National Security Adviser John Bolton arrives to speak at the commencement for the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut., May 22, 2019.

- Trump adviser optimistic about a change of leader in Venezuela
- U.S. opposed to new elections while Maduro remains in power

By John Quigley / Bloomberg

Petroleumworld 08 06 2019

The U.S. government will announce new steps against the Venezuelan government as it ratchets up pressure on Nicolas Maduro to relinquish power, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said.

Bolton said he'll detail the “sweeping” new measures during a Tuesday conference in Lima where U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is also due to speak. The measures will have “a lot of potential consequences” for Maduro's regime, Bolton told reporters in Peru's capital, without providing details.

Bolton and Ross are in Lima for discussions organized by the Peruvian government about how to restore democracy in Venezuela. Delegates from more than 60 nations are also expected to attend, mostly from countries that recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's rightful president.

Millions of Venezuelans have fled their homeland to escape hunger, political repression and dysfunction under Maduro. Peru is the second-largest destination those migrants after Colombia. More than 50 countries including the U.S. have recognized Guaido as Venezuela's interim president following Maduro's 2018 re-election, which was tainted by high voter abstention and claims of fraud.

U.S. Sanctions

Bolton said Maduro's government is feeling the pressure of U.S. sanctions, and expressed optimism about prospects for a change in government that will make way for new elections. The U.S. is opposed to elections while Maduro remains in power, he said.

The U.S. wants a peaceful transition, Bolton added, though he restated U.S. President Donald Trump's comments that all options are on the table, including military action.

Bolton said he didn't believe Maduro is serious about negotiating with the opposition and that he expects the situation in Venezuela to be resolved before the end of Guaido's term as president of the National Assembly in January.


Story by John Quigley from Bloomberg. 08 05 2019


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