WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington’s top envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said on Tuesday it was hard to see a role for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in the building of a “democratic Venezuela.”
“If he wanted to build a democratic Venezuela, he had the opportunity to do so, but he did not,” Abrams told reporters. “It is extremely difficult to see how he could play a positive role in a democratic election,” he said, adding that it was ultimately up to Venezuelans to decide Maduro’s future role.
Abrams also said that imposing U.S. secondary sanctions against non-U.S. citizens or entities tied to the Maduro government was “clearly a possibility,” although he said a decision had not been made on taking such a step.
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)
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