US lifts sanctions on Venezuelan general who joined uprising against Maduro

  • by Yahoo News - Top Stories , Jun 06, 2019
  • 20

US lifts sanctions on Venezuelan general who joined uprising against MaduroMike Pence said Manuel Cristopher Figuera was being removed from list ‘in recognition of his actions in support of democracy’ People attend a candlelight vigil held for victims of recent violence in Caracas on 5 May. Photograph: STRINGER/Reuters The United States has sought to pile further pressure on Nicolás Maduro’s crisis-hit administration by announcing it has lifted sanctions on the Venezuelan spy chief who joined last week’s abortive rebellion in Caracas. Speaking in Washington, the US vice-president Mike Pence said Gen Manuel Cristopher Figuera – who fled Venezuela after backing the unsuccessful 30 April uprising – was being removed from a sanctions list “in recognition of his recent actions in support of democracy and the rule of law”. “We hope the action that our nation is taking today will encourage others to follow the example of General Cristopher Figuera and members of the military who have also stepped forward and taken a stand for … libertad,” Pence said. The US treasury department indicated the move was designed to influence Venezuelan officials “who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order”. The move is perhaps the clearest sign yet that Washington believes there may still be life in opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s bid to spark a mutiny against Maduro. Figuera was the only major figure to back Guaidó when he tried to launch an insurrection outside an airforce base in Caracas last Tuesday. Reports suggest that other top members of Maduro’s administration may have been involved in the “Operation Freedom” plot – but then failed to follow through for reasons that remain murky. They include Venezuela’s defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López, who was sanctioned by the US last year, and the head of its supreme court, Maikel Moreno, who was sanctioned in 2017. Pence also tried to turn up the heat on the supreme court’s 25 judges, warning they would be held “accountable for their actions” if they continued to support what he called “the single greatest disrupter of peace and prosperity in the western hemisphere”. “Nicolás Maduro is a dictator … and Nicolás Maduro must go,” Pence said. Maduro loyalists have dismissed the unsuccessful revolt as a botched US-backed coup attempt. “The 30th April … was a demonstration that the Venezuelan right has no plan for our country beyond handing it over US oil corporations,” Pedro Carreño, a top member of Maduro’s Socialist party, told the Guardian. “If the US wants to launch a military action, then we are ready for anything,” Carreño added. Additional reporting by Patricia Torres




Subscribe to our newsletter to get notification about new updates, information, etc..