The Biden administration announced Monday it will allow Venezuelans to apply for temporary legal status in the United States, a move designed to increase pressure on the Maduro government by providing protection to those that have fled the regime.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notice allows some 300,000 Venezuelans currently living in the U.S. to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), letting them stay in the U.S. for 18 months. “The suffering and the ongoing turmoil the Venezuelan people have endured is well documented,” a senior official of DHS said.
The announcement was coupled with a pledge to provide “robust humanitarian assistance” for more than 5 million Venezuelans who have left the country. “In standing with the Venezuelan people, we are striking a blow to the Maduro regime, which has for years deprived its own citizens of education, healthcare, basic freedoms, and even food,» said Senator Bob Menendez who led previous legislative efforts to secure TPS for Venezuelans.
The announcement comes as the Biden administration seeks to double down on international efforts to push democracy in Venezuela. “We’re going to, as an administration, be working to increase the international consensus in favor of free and fair elections in Venezuela and, as we’re working with the international community, to increase pressure in a coordinated fashion, and making clear that the only outcome of this crash crisis is a negotiation that leads to a democratic solution,” another senior official said.
“We have to recognize here that unilateral sanctions over the last four years have not succeeded in achieving an electoral outcome in the country,” the official said. “What we’re focused on is making sure that we’re working very closely, and coordinating very closely with the European Union, with our friends and allies in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
ORIGEN AUTORAL: Rebecca Betsch y Laura Kelly