The United States supports a negotiated solution to the political crisis in Venezuela, but will continue to put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s government until free and fair elections are held in the country, a key adviser to President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
Juan Gonzalez, director of the Western Hemisphere at Biden National Security Council, stressed that Washington would not be wrong to put pressure on Caracas until transparent elections are held.
“We will continue to work with the international community to press the regime to take decisive action for free and fair elections,” Gonzalez told a news conference.
Gonzalez reiterated that Biden did not recognize Maduro’s authority for considering his 2018 re-election illegal and that he was looking at opposition leader Juan Guide. Interim President of Venezuela, Due to his status as Speaker of the “democratically elected” National Assembly in 2015.
“We see a negotiation process moving forward with free and fair elections,” Gonzalez said, adding that the talks should be “serious”, “firm”, “irreversible” and “with a period of time”.
Venezuela’s self-proclaimed leader, Juan Quito, traveled to the U.S. on Tuesday (4) to listen to Donald Trump’s speech. Counsel greets Jared Kushner as he arrives at the mansion – Photo: Brendan Smylovsky / AFP
He stressed that if these talks failed, the United States would maintain a policy of pressure on Venezuela.
“We are actively working to expand international consensus in favor of democracy in the country,” Gonzalez said.
Biden’s aide said he could not talk about “specific conversations” between Maduro and the opposition over the talks.
Yet under the Donald Trump administration, in January 2019, the first country to recognize Guida as the interim president of Venezuela was the United States, Brazil and a group of South American countries.
Montage puts Maduro and Guida side by side in archive scenes – Photo: SDF / AFP
Biden’s aide said the United States was not involved in “any production” and could not say that Norway, which had supported such talks in the past, now had a role to play.
Maduro concluded the Norwegian-funded talks in August 2019, rejecting tough US sanctions on Keita, a key international supporter.
On May 11, Guide proposed resuming talks with Maduro, which changed his previous intention of removing the president from power and establishing an interim government to organize new elections. The United States has spoken out in support of the Qaeda initiative.
Venezuela, ruled by Maduro since 2013, has been experiencing a social and economic catastrophe, with 5.6 million people expelled from the country in recent years, according to the UN.
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