Thirteen UN employees who were expelled from Venezuela by Nicolás
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Pedro Rances Mattey/AFP

The United States is set to reimpose sanctions on Venezuela as a result of the "lack of progress" seen by the Maduro government in moving toward freer and fairer elections, said a State Department spokesperson on Monday.

"Absent progress by Maduro and his representatives in terms of implementing the road map's provisions, the United States will not renew the license when it expires on April 18, 2024," the spokesperson said.

According to Reuters, the Biden administration has little hope the Venezuelan government will make enough concessions to avoid the reimposing of sanctions on Thursday.

The decision this week could also involve the implementation of more restrictive sanctions to replace the former scenario.

Representatives from both the Biden and Maduro secretly met in Mexico last week to continue the negotiations, but the outcome has not been apparently fruitful.

"The purpose was to express our concerns about Venezuela's electoral process," a White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson said of the meeting.

Despite promises of a free and fair race from Venezuela as part of last year's Barbados Agreement, the recent barring of Maria Corina Machado, opposition favorite, and her substitute, Corina Yoris, has raised many eyebrows and put the U.S in an "uncomfortable situation," Bloomberg reported.

Should sanctions be effectively reimposed, Venezuela could lose a total of $2 billion in oil revenues by the end of 2024, according to Luis Barcenas, the head of Caracas-based economic firm Ecoanalitica.

From October until March, the license has enabled Maduro's government to earn an additional $740 million in oil sales, according to Bloomberg.

As the Maduro government tightens its grip on the electoral process, a poll by firm Meganalisis showed that 40% of Venezuelans currently living in the country would consider leaving if the president wins another term.

Moreover, 45% claimed they did not know what they would decide while only 16% expressed their desire to stay in the country if such an outcome were to take place.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more than 7.7 million Venezuelans have already left the country to escape the dire economic conditions and lack of freedoms over the past decade. That represents close to about 20% of the population.

The survey, based on interviews with 1,000 people across the country, also showed that a vast majority of Venezuelans (74%) consider María Corina Machado to be the most reliable and credible political leader in the country, while 72% said they would vote for her if she were allowed to compete. Machado is currently banned from participating.

On the flip side, Maduro 81% of those surveyed do not want Maduro to remain in power while 10% want him to do so, and 9% said they do not know.

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