Tags: Trump Administration | Venezuela | venezuela | pence | sanctions | maduro

Pence: US Lifts Sanctions on Venezuelan General Who Broke With Maduro

Pence: US Lifts Sanctions on Venezuelan General Who Broke With Maduro
Vice President Mike Pence

Tuesday, 07 May 2019 04:24 PM

The United States is lifting economic sanctions on a former Venezuelan general who turned against President Nicolas Maduro in an action it hopes will lead other Maduro military allies to follow suit, Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday.

Sanctions will be lifted on Manuel Cristopher Figuera, the former chief of the South American country's intelligence service, who last week broke ranks with Maduro.

"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," Pence said in an address to the Americas Society at the State Department.

Pence's speech was the first look at how the Trump administration plans to recalibrate its strategy following an attempted uprising last week led by Juan Guaido, the opposition leader backed by the United States and other Western countries. Guaido failed to spur high-level military defections in his attempt to persuade the military to dislodge Maduro.

Arguing that Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate, Guaido invoked Venezuela's constitution in January to declare himself interim president of the country.

Maduro - who has said Guaido is a puppet of Washington - has sought to show that the military remains on his side, but opposition leaders and U.S. officials have said that support is tenuous.

Pence warned the United States is ready to crack down on members of Venezuela's supreme court for being what he called a "political tool" of Maduro.

The Treasury Department sanctioned the court's president, Maikel Moreno, in 2017 and the seven principal members of its constitutional chamber - and is now preparing to sanction the 25 remaining members of the court, a senior U.S. administration official told Reuters.

Pence also pledged that the United States would work with other nations and lenders on trade finance and credit to create jobs and fight poverty in Venezuela once Maduro departs office, and announced that it is sending a military hospital ship to Latin America and the Caribbean because of the Venezuela crisis.

The USNS Comfort ship is to deploy to the Caribbean, Central America and South America in June on a mission for five months to help relieve pressure on countries that have taken in large numbers of people fleeing Venezuela, the Pentagon said.

Last year, the hospital ship cared for Venezuelan refugees and others as it stopped in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Honduras.

The deployment will fall far short of satisfying some of President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans, who have called for more robust U.S. military support to Guaido.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday that the United States has lifted sanctions on Venezuelan General Manuel Cristopher Figuera, the former chief of the South American country's intelligence service, who last week turned against President Nicolas Maduro."We hope this...
venezuela, pence, sanctions, maduro
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2019-24-07
Tuesday, 07 May 2019 04:24 PM
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