February 6, 2019 / 9:12 PM / 9 days ago

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

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton looks on as members of the Trump administration announces economic sanctions against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States would consider lifting sanctions on senior Venezuelan military officers if they recognise 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 recognises 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 recognised 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 recognised 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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