WASHINGTON – U.S Vice President Michael Pence said yesterday, May 7th, that the White House is lifting sanctions against the now disgraced, former head of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), General Manuel Christopher Figuera, fired by Maduro following his support for the failed coup of April 30th. This decision by the U.S administration was made after the former head of the Venezuelan special services supported the “uprising in support of the interim president” of the South American country Juan Guaido , according to the The New York Times .
Speaking at the US State Department, Vice President Pence expressed his hope that the decision of General Figuera “will inspire other high-ranking Venezuelans” to break with the current President of the Bolivarian Republic, Nicolas Maduro .
“The United States will consider easing sanctions for all those who support the constitution and uphold the rule of law,” Pence promised.
He also announced that in June, the USNS Comfort hospital ship would return to the Venezuelan coast, which would be used as part of the “five-month humanitarian mission.”. The USNS Comfort is a non-commissioned ship owned by the U.S. Navy and operationally crewed by civilians from the Military Sealift Command
Earlier, the Supreme Court of Venezuela ordered the bringing to justice of several members of the country’s parliament, who supported the “uprising” against Maduro. In response to this, Michael Pence, using concepts and terms that turn general conceptions of law – either international or domestic – on their heads, said that the US could impose sanctions on Venezuelan judges if they use the court as a “political tool for a regime that usurps democracy, accuses political prisoners and promotes authoritarianism.”
This use of language and the usurpation of logic and norms by members of the Trump administration has been previously described by Russian FM Lavrov as truly ‘surrealist’ in nature.
Recall, on April 30, Juan Guaido called for the people of Venezuela to hold mass demonstrations, calling it the final stage of Operation Freedom to overthrow the Maduro regime and calling on the army and national guard to go to the side of the opposition. However, only a few military people followed this call.
Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said that the authorities had suppressed an opposition attempt to carry out a coup d’état. The head of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, noted on his Twitter page that the leadership of the national army guaranteed him his “total loyalty.”
On January 23, the head of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, declared himself the interim president of the country. He said that the current president, Nicolas Maduro, is incapable of fulfilling the duties of the head of state, and promised to hold early elections in the country. Juan Guaido recognized as interim president almost all Latin American countries (with the exception of Bolivia, Cuba and Mexico), as well as the US, Canada, Australia, Israel, Georgia, and some EU countries. A number of states, including Russia, are considered the legitimate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. In addition to Russia, support for the current Venezuelan leader was expressed by China, Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, Turkey, Iran and Syria.
At the same time, there are growing indications that countries which previously supported the regime-change operation’s declaration will reverse this decision, given that several repeated attempts to actually dislodge the present Venezuelan government have failed. The EU officially recognizes Maduro, and the regional support of Cuba and Mexico is significant, while the international support of Russia and China are determinative.