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Risch Joins Sullivan, Colleagues in Warning Biden Not to Renew Oil Sanctions Relief for Venezuela’s Dictatorship

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.). in sending a letter to President Biden last week urging the administration to renew economic pressure on the narco-terrorist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. The administration must decide by Thursday whether to reimpose sanctions relieved in October 2023.

“We write to urge you to not renew General License 44 “Authorizing Transactions Related

to Oil or Gas Sector Operations in Venezuela” when it comes up for renewal on April 18th,” wrote the senators. “As you know, on October 17, 2023, the regime of Nicolás Maduro and members of the democratic opposition signed the Barbados Agreement that laid the groundwork for fair presidential elections in Venezuela in July 2024. This resulted in partial U.S. sanctions relief on the Venezuelan oil and gas sector. Since then, the Maduro regime has failed to uphold its promises and deliberately violated the boundaries of that agreement.”

“History has proven time and time again that appeasing dictators does not work. We strongly urge you to reinstate and fully enforce all U.S. sanctions on the Maduro regime relieved as a result of the October 2023 Barbados Agreement,” the senators continued. “If the U.S. fails to take a credible stance on ensuring free and fair elections are held in Venezuela, the prospects of a democratic Venezuela will continue to diminish, which will further embolden authoritarian aggressors such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Iran, and Russia.”

Full text of the letter can be read here. The letter was first reported on in a story by Fox News Digital.