US reimposes sanctions on Venezuela for banning Maduro opponents

The United States warned Tuesday it will reimpose sanctions on Venezuela's oil and gas sector, relaxed under a reconciliation deal, after opponents to President Nicolas Maduro were barred from running against him.

The State Department issued a deadline to end a license that allowed US dealings with Venezuela's key money-making sector, saying Maduro was violating an agreement with the opposition reached in Barbados in October.

"Absent progress between Maduro and his representatives and the opposition Unitary Platform, particularly on allowing all presidential candidates to compete in this year's election, the United States will not renew the license when it expires on April 18, 2024," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

The United States earlier said it was immediately winding down another license that allowed operations by the Venezuelan state-owned gold mining company, Minerven.

"The United States remains strongly committed to supporting dialogue between the parties and to the aspirations of the Venezuelan people for a democratic future," Miller said.

Maduro last week made claims of plans to assassinate him and said that the Barbados agreements are "mortally wounded".

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