The Venezuelan government has rejected a United States offer to ease the crippling economic sanctions if the country accepts a U.S. proposal for a transitional government. 

The plan, called “Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela” was put forth and promoted by Pompeo. It consisted of a power-sharing government that would be made up of the opposition and some members of Maduro’s Socialist Party. It would require both President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó to step aside in favor of a five-person transitional governing council.

Elected members of the national assembly, representing each side, would comprise the council. Presidential and parliamentary elections would be held 6-12 months after the council’s creation. The president of the transitional government would not be able to run in those elections.

“This framework can provide a path that ends the suffering and opens the path to a brighter future for Venezuela,” Pompeo said in a press conference. 

The plan is essentially the same proposal made by Guaidó, who is recognized by more than 60 countries as the rightful leader of Venezuela. 

The once most prosperous South American country is racked by shortages of food, medicine and horrible inflation that has crippled its economy. 

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza posted on Twitter that, “the Bolivarian [(Venezuelan)] government reiterates that Venezuela does not accept, nor will it ever accept any tutelage, from any foreign government.”

“It is precisely the Trump administration that needs to step aside and lift the sanctions that even U.S. legislators recognize as hampering Venezuela from acquiring supplies to fight the COVID-19 [pandemic],” the Venezuela government said in a statement.