Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday proposed a gradual lifting of U.S. economic sanctions on Venezuela if opposition leaders and some members of President Nicolás Maduro’s political party form an interim government.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “Broadly speaking, it would put the elected members of the National Assembly, representing both sides — would create an acceptable council of state to serve as the transitional government until presidential and National Assembly elections could be held, we hope within six to 12 months.”
The proposal would require both President Maduro and Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó to step aside. A similar strategy was used in 1989 ahead of the U.S. invasion of Panama. Venezuela’s foreign ministry called the proposal “an effort to win geopolitical advantage in the midst of a frightening global pandemic.” The move comes less than a week after the Trump administration indicted Maduro on charges of narcoterrorism and international cocaine trafficking.