Washington, May 8 (GCCurrentAffairs) The United States has lifted all sanctions on Venezuela’s former intelligence service chief Gen. Manuel Cristopher Figuera after he broke ranks with President Nicolas Maduro last week to support opposition leader Juan Guaido, US Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech.
“In recognition of his recent actions in support of democracy and the rule of law, I’m announcing today that the United States of American is removing all sanctions on General Manuel Cristopher Figuera effective immediately,” Pence told the Washington Conference on the Americas held at the State Department on Tuesday.
The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Figuera on February 15 under the heading current or former official in the Maduro government.
The Treasury Department said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision to remove all of Figuera’s sanctions demonstrates Washington’s intent to bring a positive change of behavior through sanctions.
Last week, Guaido made another attempt to depose of Maduro, staging a demonstration in front of La Carlota military base in Caracas. Guaido called on the people of Venezuela and the army to take to the streets to complete the operation to overthrow Venezuela’s legitimate president.
In response, Maduro said that the commanders of all regions and zones of integral defense had reiterated their full loyalty to the authorities of the country.
Large-scale protests against Maduro began in Venezuela on January 21 soon after he was sworn in for a new term. Guaido then proclaimed himself to be an interim president of Venezuela. A number of Western countries, including the United States, backed his claim.
Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as its puppet. Russia, China, Bolivia, Turkey and numerous other countries have said they recognize Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.