Florida Legislators React to Maduro Officially Declaring Intentions to Remain in Office

Florida Legislators React to Maduro Officially Declaring Intentions to Remain in Office

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
March 12, 2024

Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro officially announced his intention to remain in office for a third term. 

The announcement came after Dictator Maduro was recently ‘selected’ by Venezuela’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) to represent their party’s presidential candidate in the upcoming July elections. 

Maduro’s government has barred opposition candidates from participating in the elections and been accused of rigging previous elections in favor of the PSUV.

The United States has not recognized Maduro’s last electoral victory in 2018. 

However, in October of last year, President Joe Biden lifted sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gold sectors in exchange for assurances the country would be committed to holding fair elections.

As Maduro jailed opposition figures and barred Maria Corina Machado from running for office, the Biden administration reimposed gold sanctions and announced it would renew the oil and gas sanctions relief provided, which expires on April 18.

The full range of sanctions initially imposed and later removed have not yet been reinstated.

With Maduro’s main political opponents officially barred from participating, Maduro’s latest announcement suggests he could be positioning himself to be the sole candidate on the ballot.

Florida legislators responded to Maduro’s announcement by calling for President Biden to quickly reinstate full sanctions on Venezuela. 

"Nicolas Maduro was NEVER serious about free and fair elections, and everyone but Joe Biden seemed to know it,” said Senator Rick Scott (R-FL).

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) similarly stated he is waiting “for the Biden Administration to reimpose sanctions against the criminal Maduro narco-regime.”

Senator Rubio had previously received confirmation from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken the US would consider reimposing sanctions on Venezuela unless election guarantees were granted.

Blinken assured that Venezuela will not be “getting a free pass for actions they take that are in contradiction to the commitments that they’ve made to move toward free and fair elections, which is a shared objective that we have with the opposition, the Unitary Platform.”

No further US sanctions have been levied on Venezuela since gold sanctions were reinstated.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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