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  • The government of President Nicolas Maduro demanded respect for sovereignity from the new Trump administration and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

    The government of President Nicolas Maduro demanded respect for sovereignity from the new Trump administration and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 January 2017

But will Trump's new secretary of state pursue revenge for the nationalization of his oil businesses in Venezuela?

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Sunday she expects the new President of the United States to repeal the executive order issued by former President Barck Obama that declared Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy.

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"Venezuela has consistently called for that executive order to be repealed and we hope President Trump will not go down the path of obsession and irrationality," Rodriguez said in an interview with Venezuela's private television network Televen, adding that the decree "has the power to be repealed."

Rodriguez also said that President Nicolas Maduro's government has confirmed its decision to maintain respectful relations with the Trump White House in the hopes that international rights and the sovereignty of the people are respected.

The comments come after Obama renewed earlier this month a controversial executive order against Venezuela declaring the South American nation an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to U.S. national security. The Obama administration first issued the decree in March 2015 and extended it for the first time last year. The order was not set to expire until March, but the White House pushed ahead the renewal in the name of ensuring a "smooth transition" to Trump's presidency.

Obama also ordered sanctions against Venezuelan officials, saying they would be banned from traveling to the United States and all assets and properties belonging to them would be frozen, in light of the country's political and economic hardship.

According to Rodriguez, this order was supported by the right-wing opposition in the country as a means to attack Maduro's socialist government.

"We hope that with a more realistic and practical vision of what relations between the U.S. and Venezuela may be, the order will be repealed," said Rodriguez.

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Rex Tillerson Has a Long, Troubled History in Venezuela

But Venezuela's hopes promptly could be shattered, as Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week that the new administration will seek a regime change policy in Venezuela.

Tillerson has a bitter history with Venezuela since 2007, when the socialist government of late President Hugo Chavez ordered the nationalization of 22 major multinational corporations, including ExxonMobil, then headed by Tillerson.

The former oil executive rejected the compensation deal offered by the government of US$1 billion and took Venezuela to international arbitration court, demanding instead US$10 billion but eventually settling for US$1.6 billion.

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