President Joe Biden’s administration rejected Nicolas Maduro’s call for relief from U.S. sanctions, saying the Venezuelan leader needs to do more toward restoring democracy before penalties would be lifted, Bloomberg News reported. Maduro, a target of crippling U.S. sanctions under former President Donald Trump, reached out to Biden in an exclusive Bloomberg interview last week, calling on him to lift sanctions, normalize relations and end the “demonization of Venezuela.” Responding to Maduro’s comments, a State Department spokesman said a U.S. policy shift would require major changes by the Venezuelan president. They’d have to include engaging with opposition leader Juan Guaido to resolve the country’s political crisis and pave the way for free and fair elections, as well as restoring economic and political freedoms. As long as “repression and corrupt practices” by Maduro and his supporters continue, the U.S. will work with its partners and allies to keep up the pressure, including sanctions against those who undermine democracy, the spokesman said. Read more.