Trump administration makes push for transitional government in Venezuela

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS extends waivers on Iran sanctions amid coronavirus pandemic Overnight Defense: Pentagon orders bases to stop reporting coronavirus numbers | Hospital ship arrives in NY | Marines pause sending new recruits to boot camp | Defense bill work delayed Democratic senators ask Pompeo to provide coronavirus aid to Palestinian territories MORE is expected on Tuesday to release the Trump administration’s “Democratic Transition Framework” for Venezuela, which centers around Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro stepping down and handing power over to Juan Guaidó, leader of the country’s opposition party.

According to a document reviewed by Reuters, the transition proposal outlines a “sequenced exit path” from tough U.S. sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy if Maduro and his Socialist Party agree to the terms.

Last week, the U.S. indicted Maduro and his inner circle on several charges centered around the Maduro government’s corruption.

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Maduro was charged with narco-terrorism and 13 other Venezuelan officials were also charged by U.S. attorneys in New York, Washington and Florida. The indictments state that Maduro allegedly attempted to weaponize cocaine by “flooding” U.S. communities with the drug.

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrBrooklyn man accused of lying about hoarding medical supplies, coughing at officers Juan Williams: Mueller, one year on States should plan now for November voting options MORE noted at the time that the U.S. was not indicting a foreign head of state, which would have been unprecedented, pointing out that the U.S. recognizes Guaidó as the Venezuelan president.

Maduro responded to the indictments by calling President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: ‘No. no’ Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: ‘Stop congratulating yourself! You’re a failure’ Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE a “racist cowboy.”

“The regime is now under heavier pressure than it has ever been,” U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told the wire service. “Maybe this pressure will lead to a serious discussion within the regime.”

Abrams also told Reuters that the plan had been approved by Trump and that it called for Venezuela’s National Assembly “to elect an inclusive transitional government acceptable to the major factions” and then manage elections later in the year. 

The Hill has reached out the State Department for comment.

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