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Venezuela’s Supreme Court upheld a 15-year ban on opposition leader Maria Corina Machado holding public office.

The United States has begun reimposing sanctions on Venezuela by restricting its mining sector after the South American nation’s top court upheld the DisqualificationThe opposition presidential candidate

Any US companies doing business with Venezuela’s state-owned mining concern Minerven have until February 13 to complete a “wind down of transactions” with the company, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said on Monday,

The US warned Venezuela on the weekend it could end some sanctions granted last year after Caracas agreed to an agreement for elections in 2020, including setting up procedures for disqualified candidates to appeal their disqualification.

On Friday, Venezuela’s Supreme Court, loyal to President Nicolas Maduro’s government, upheld a 15-year ban on opposition leader Maria Corina Machado and also confirmed the ineligibility of her possible replacement, two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.

Machado on Monday called the court ruling blocking her presidential candidacy last week “judicial criminality” and vowed to stay in the race, declaring that the decision embodies the ruling party’s fear of having to face her at the polls.

Sanctions relief

Maduro’s government had raised hopes with Washington and others when it reached a deal last year in Barbados with the Venezuelan opposition to hold a free and fair vote in 2024, with international observers present.

Washington eased its sanctions and allowed US-based Chevron, to resume limited oil production. This agreement also paved the way for a prisoner trade.

On Monday, White House spokesperson John Kirby said members of the Maduro government “have not taken those actions” promised in Barbados.

“So we have options available to us,” he said. “We certainly have options with respect to sanctions and that kind of thing.”

Jorge Rodriguez, a lawmaker who heads Maduro’s team in negotiations with the opposition, said prior to the US Treasury decision that if Washington took “any aggressive action”, Venezuela’s response would be “serene, reciprocal and energetic”.

Machado, a 56-year-old former lawmaker, won the opposition’s independently-run presidential primaryMore than 90 percent of votes were cast in October.

The following is a list of the most recent and relevant articles. You can win a lot of moneyThe government announced a 15-year prohibition on her running for public office just days after she officially entered the race in early June.

The longtime government foe was able to participate because the primary was organised by a commission independent of Venezuela’s electoral authorities. Machado maintained throughout the campaign that the ban was not officially communicated to her.

Machado filed an injunction request with the court in December to protect her rights as a political activist. She argued that the ban was null.

Instead, the court upheld her ban, claiming fraud, tax violations and accusing her of wanting the economic sanctions that the US imposed against Venezuela in the past decade.

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