US reimposing some sanctions after Venezuela upholds candidate ban

The United States on Monday began reimposing sanctions on Venezuela by restricting its mining sector after the South American nation's top court upheld the disqualification of an opposition presidential hopeful.

According to a statement by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, any U.S. companies doing business with Venezuela state-owned mining concern Minerven have until Feb. 13 to complete a "wind down of transactions" with the company.

The move follows up on Washington's weekend warning to Caracas that it could end some sanctions relief that was granted last year when Venezuela agreed to a deal for elections in 2024, including setting up a process for would-be candidates to challenge their disqualification.

On Friday Venezuela's Supreme Court, loyal to President Nicolas Maduro's government, upheld a 15-year ban on opposition leader Maria Corina Machado and also confirmed the ineligibility of her possible replacement, two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.

Maduro's government had raised hopes with Washington and others when it reached a deal last year in Barbados with the Venezuelan opposition to hold a free and fair vote in 2024, with international observers present.

That agreement saw the United States ease sanctions against Venezuela, allowing U.S.-based Chevron to resume limited oil extraction and leading the way to a prisoner swap.

But Washington's reimposition of some sanctions suggests it is displeased with backsliding related to Machado's election eligibility.

Earlier Monday White House spokesman John Kirby said members of the Maduro government "haven't taken those actions" promised in Barbados.

"So we have options available to us," he said. "We certainly have options with...

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