Nicolas Maduro hasn’t changed, but US did

The United States plans to pledge more than $ 171 million in funding for Venezuela at a donor conference in Brussels on Friday, a U.S. official told Reuters, as the country’s opposition awaits moves by the U.S. to process frozen Venezuelan government funds.

The commitment is expected at a European Union-backed conference on solidarity with Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

The US official did not give details about the funding, which builds on the $ 376 million Washington pledged last year.

Washington supports Venezuela’s opposition, recognizes its parallel legislature and denounces the dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro.

Under the administration of former President Donald Trump, the United States has stepped up its sanctions against the South American country. It froze and seized Venezuelan government funds from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then used the funds to support opposition lawmakers opposed to Maduro.

The country’s opposition has complained that the US approval process needed to replace its previous contact for the distribution of the funds, the ousted leader Juan Guaido, is stretching. They say the funds will also help humanitarian efforts.

The Maduro government opposes what it considers US foreign interference in its politics and has said the opposition has stolen funds that belong to the people and could be used for social and medical support.

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