venezuelanalysis.com | 16 November, 2016
President Nicolas Maduro leading the campaign to repeal the executive order last year. (Archive)
President Nicolás Maduro announced Monday his call for US President Barack Obama to repeal the his executive order declaring Venezuela a “threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
The decree was first signed in March 2015 by Obama and renewed this year. Maduro’s actions come after US presidential elections resulted in an electoral victory for Republican party presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The leftist leader formally expressed that Venezuela will petition Obama to repeal the decree during his television program Sunday. Maduro confirmed that he will discuss the issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry as well.
Most recently, Kerry and Maduro spoke after November 9th’s elections about ongoing efforts to re-establish functional diplomatic relations including the Bolivarian government’s dialogue with the opposition. Earlier this month, Thomas Shannon, the under secretary for political affairs at the US Department of State, travelled to Venezuela to facilitate talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition.
Kerry and Maduro also met in Colombia during the signing of the Peace Accords in Cartagena de Indias late September. While Kerry explained that Obama’s administration is “deeply concerned about events in Venezuela,” he also added that, “We want to be constructive. We are not looking for conflict.”
Obama’s 2015 executive order declared it “a national emergency to protect human rights and democratic institutions in Venezuela” as well to protect the US from alleged illicit capital coming from the South American nation. Moreover, the order also imposed sanctions against seven high ranking Venezuelan officials.
Obama did not repeal the decree this year despite having previously admitted that Venezuela does not constitute a threat to the US, teleSUR reported last April.
“President Obama, you can win the Venezuelan people’s admiration if you have the courage to sign a decree repealing that infamous decree that says our beloved homeland Venezuela is a threat to the United States,” Maduro stressed. The Venezuelan head of state continued his statements Sunday saying that the executive order is “an atrocity that I hope Barack Obama corrects before he leaves office.”
Maduro expressed hope that Obama would leave office “with a message of peace for Venezuela.” Obama’s actions would leave behind a “great legacy”, he emphasized.
In 2015, Venezuela organized an international campaign to repeal Obama’s executive order and gathered millions of signatures. Since then, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) as well as the Non-Aligned Movement have also denounced the decree and advocated for its reversal.
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