February 6, 2019 / 8:25 PM / 16 days ago

U.S. might lift sanctions on Venezuelan military who back Guaido: Bolton

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a meeting with soldiers at a military base in Caracas, Venezuela January 30, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States would consider lifting sanctions on senior Venezuelan military officers if they recognize the government of self-declared interim president Juan Guaido, White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday.

“The U.S. will consider sanctions off-ramps for any Venezuelan senior military officer that stands for democracy and recognizes the constitutional government of President Juan Guaido. If not, the international financial circle will be closed off completely,” Bolton said in a tweet.

Washington has recognized Guaido as the South American country’s interim president and other countries have followed suit, raising pressure on Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, who won re-election last year in a vote that many considered fraudulent.

But aside from one senior general, who recognized Guaido in a video and called on other members of the military to do the same, most of Venezuela’s top military officers have not defected from Maduro.

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Leslie Adler

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