The Biden administration will offer sanctions relief in exchange for “free and fair elections” and other concessions, the report said, adding that the US will seek assistance from foreign backers of Venezuela, including Russia, China, Iran and Cuba.

Whatever policy change the Biden administration may bring, it is unlikely to be drastic. Venezuela was sparsely sanctioned under the Obama administration, and while Biden is said to be reviewing how Trump used the tool, he reportedly plans only to “recalibrate” the US sanctions regime, withdrawing some of the punitive measures, but possibly imposing more in some cases. Elliott Abrams, Trump’s envoy on Iran and Venezuela, suggested that the Biden administration should appreciate Trump’s heavy-handed approach because “it strengthens their hand,” in a sort of bad-cop-good-cop game against targeted nations.



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