Rick Scott and Marco Rubio after the disqualification of María Corina Machado: The US must 'reimpose targeted sanctions against this narco-regime'

Republican senators strongly criticized the Biden administration for its unsuccessful policy of rapprochement with Nicolas Maduro.

Republican senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott reacted on X (Twitter) to the new attack by the Maduro regime against Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado. This Friday, Machado was politically disqualified by the Supreme Court of Justice, which is controlled by Maduro’s government.

Rubio, a long-standing ally of the opposition in Venezuela and a fierce critic of authoritarian regimes in the region, severely rebuked the Biden administration for its unsuccessful policy of rapprochement with Caracas that has led to the partial lifting of sanctions and the pardon and release of Alex Saab, an important figure in Maduro’s regime.

“When will the caretakers of America’s decline in the Biden Administration realize Maduro had ZERO intention to abide by the Barbados agreement and finally decide to reimpose targeted sanctions against this narco-regime?” Rubio posted on his account on X (Twitter).

Likewise, Senator Scott also asked the Biden administration to reimpose sanctions on the Maduro regime.

Joe Biden must IMMEDIATELY reimpose sanctions- and I mean tonight. Anything short of that will be unacceptable appeasement and weakness. He never should have trusted Maduro, and now that he’s been played by that thug, he needs to show that America will punch back,” the senator wrote.

Rubio and Scott’s messages come after Machado, the main face of the Venezuelan opposition, was disqualified in a year in which Venezuelan presidential elections will be held with the support of the United States.

With this decision, Maduro’s socialist regime has rid itself of the opposition leader who has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially after she emerged victorious in a primary process organized by the opposition that left her as the undisputed leader of Maduro’s opponents.

The decision of the Chavista court also represents a blow not only to Machado but also to the Biden administration. Biden’s policy of rapprochement towards Caracas was based, in part, on the Barbados agreements signed in October by the opposition and the ruling party, in which they agreed upon a mechanism to unblock political disqualifications against Venezuelan opponents.

However, with the sanctions lifted and Alex Saab back in Venezuela, the jewel in the crown for Chavismo, the Maduro regime began a series of persecutions against collaborators close to Machado as well as civilians and military personnel throughout the country.

Biden’s attempt at a closer diplomatic relationship with Maduro, in short, has not reduced political repression nor opened up a clear electoral route towards genuinely free elections in the South American country.