The latest sanctions, like the ones approved in December . . . represent a victory for a political faction that wants to prevent the normalization of diplomatic relations with Venezuela. It was not a result of pressure from the right in Congress, but came from deep within the Obama administration.
Since the Obama administration decided last week to impose new sanctions on Venezuela, many people, including journalists, have inquired as to what motivated them to do this. Some are curious as to the apparent incongruity between this move and the White House decision in December to begin the process of normalizing relations with Cuba. Others are wondering why the administration would do something that so obviously hurts the opposition in Venezuela, at least in the short run. The main opposition group, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), issued a statement that did not support the sanctions: “Venezuela is not a threat to anyone,” it said in response to the White House’s absurd claim that Venezuela posed an “extraordinary threat” to U.S. national security. And then there is the problem of Washington’s isolation in the hemisphere, which has certainly increased with this latest move.