At the time, Mr. Maduro’s negotiators had also insisted that the United States lift sanctions against the government that have sought to cut off its oil exports and estrange it from the rest of the world. Mr. Abrams said some sanctions against specific people in Mr. Maduro’s administration could be lifted as their roles in a power-sharing government shifted. But he said the most bruising financial penalties — including those that freeze the sitting administration’s assets and properties — would remain until Mr. Maduro steps down and the temporary government is empowered. Mr. Abrams said there were an estimated 2,500 Cuban intelligence officials in Venezuela to support Mr. Maduro and called it “simply impossible” for democratic efforts to succeed while they remain. But Mr. Abrams was careful to say that the plan was an opening offer for talks between the two sides, “not a take-it-or-leave-it proposition,” and that no single issue was a deal breaker — except the demand for Mr. Maduro’s departure.
Source: International New York Times March 31, 2020 09:00 UTC