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Pro-government supporters rally in Caracas Pro-government supporters rally in Caracas  (AFP or licensors)

Venezuela talks on hold after Maduro withdraws over US sanctions

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has suspended negotiations with the opposition over new US sanctions which forbid all dealings with US assets and interests.

By James Blears

It's stalemate in Barbados, between the negotiators for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the Opposition led by Juan Guaidó.

The government side is using this latest US move to delay rather than end the negotiations, claiming the inevitable backlash is totally intolerable and untenable.

The latest and harsh sanctions prevent all dealings with Venezuelan interests within the United States, on pain of sanctions for any offenders, be they companies or nations.

The Venezuelan government representatives also insist that the concerted economic tightening is a deliberate attempt by Washington to purposely derail ongoing talks.

Juan Guaidó, who's welcomed this latest move as a just action against Maduro, is insisting on a prompt presidential election, strictly monitored by international observers.

Furthermore, the United States is demanding that Maduro step down before this process even starts, something that he's most unlikely to concede.

Guaidó is holding a strong political hand of cards, because more than 50 nations including the United States, already support him as Venezuela's legitimate President.

Maduro's ace plus steadfast wild card, is that the Venezuelan military continues its unwavering support for him.

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08 August 2019, 16:50