Biden Executive Order on Maduro hostages lifting sanctions

The political scientist Enderson Sequera maintains that the Executive Order recently signed by Joe Biden to facilitate the return of “US hostages” held in other countries could mean, paradoxically, the progressive lifting of sanctions on Venezuela.

The Executive Order authorizes US Government Departments and Agencies to use financial sanctions and visa cancellation as tools to secure the release of Americans detained abroad.

In an interview to VOA published this Thursday, Sequera suggested: “In relation to the Venezuelan case, this new order reinforces and legitimizes the efforts of the Biden administration to maintain a direct negotiation with Chavismo in exchange for releasing the Americans detained in Venezuela.”

Sequera recognized that this Order has been designed to “increase pressure” on authoritarian regimes that have American hostages in their territory. However, he estimates that it could have an “opposite effect”.

“It will increase the incentives of authoritarian regimes to take American hostages abroad, knowing that with these types of tactics they gain the attention of the American government.” In the specific case of Venezuela, “an exchange of sanctions for hostages would be achieved, and the incentives to resume negotiations in Mexico with the Unitary Platform would be reduced.”

contrary view

For his part, the internationalist Juan Francisco Contreras described the Order as a bad idea, since “it could produce new actions against countries that use North American citizens to exert pressure.”

Biden envoys came to the country for his hostages: El Mundo

A new visit of delegates from Joe Biden to Caracas caught the attention of public opinion at the end of June, since they were received by Jorge Rodríguez, but they also met with Guaidó. Professor María Puerta Riera maintained that this time the main issue is the Americans imprisoned in Maduro’s prisons.

The presence in the US delegation of the ambassador, James Story, and the special envoy, Roger Carstens, mark in advance the two main points to be discussed on this trip: the freedom of the US prisoners in Maduro’s prisons and the negotiations in Mexico between government and opposition, suspended in October 2021, Puerta Riera told El Mundo.

Biden’s main adviser for Latin America, Juan González, did not come and this “has lowered” the expectations of the meeting, focusing it, above all, on the hostages, but without forgetting that the fundamental axis of the “mini-thaw” is oil in amid the global energy crisis.

“Achieving great progress is difficult, because the (mid-term) elections are upon us. Another thing will be at the end of the year we will see. From the political point of view, in the US the trip has not reached a major media impact », he added.

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Biden Executive Order on Maduro hostages lifting sanctions