Venezuela delivered its political agreement with the democratic opposition Tuesday and, no surprise, there’s little to it. There’s no release of political prisoners, no guarantee to restore the right of opposition candidates to run for president next year, and no way to ensure the independence of electoral institutions.
Officials leaked to reporters Monday that the Biden Administration plans to use the deal to justify sanctions relief. But a Wednesday joint statement from the U.S., the European Union, the U.K. and Canada acknowledged that the document is merely “a necessary step in the continuation of an inclusive dialogue process and the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.” Translation: Talk, talk, talk. But Wednesday evening a senior U.S. official announced that the U.S. “is in the process of issuing limited sanctions relief, primarily in the oil and gas sector.”
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