At the beginning of April, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveiled a “Democratic Transition Framework” that could lift part of sanctions. Venezuela’s National Assembly would create a “Council of State,” which would serve as the governing body until presidential elections are held. The president of that council would not be permitted to run in those elections. Neither Maduro nor opposition leader Juan Guaidó could serve on that council, but Pompeo said the US would continue to back Juan Guaidó, whom the US and dozens of other countries support as the rightful leader of Venezuela. Mike Pompeo also said Juan Guaidó would be permitted to run in an eventual election, which he hoped would be in six to twelve months. The fact that the U.S. embassy could reopen means negotiations might lead to an agreement despite the U.S. deploying the Navy close to Venezuelan borders and placing a bounty on Maduro’s head after charges of narco-terrorism.
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