The Biden administration’s policy of allowing Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro to remain in power is proving to be a major mistake. In recent days, Maduro has suspended Venezuelan primaries for alleged corruption and is disregarding diplomatic efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to the crisis. It has been nearly two months since President Joe Biden announced his intention to reverse the Trump administration’s hardline stance on Venezuela. The goal was to create a new diplomatic approach that would foster a peaceful dialogue between Maduro and his political opponents and help end the country’s long-running political crisis. However, instead of engaging in meaningful negotiations, the Maduro regime has used the U.S.’s softer approach to its advantage. Maduro has ignored calls to negotiate with Venezuela’s democratic opposition and instead sought to consolidate his grip on power. This strongman approach has been on full display over the past two weeks. Maduro recently suspended the Venezuelan primary elections, citing allegations of fraud and corruption. While some say the elections were suspect, many argue that Maduro’s decision was designed to hold on to power and prevent the opposition from achieving electoral success. The decision has devastated the hopes of opposition leaders who are now facing the daunting task of finding a way to unseat Maduro. It is clear that Maduro is unwilling to negotiate in good faith and the Biden administration’s attempt to appease him is having the opposite effect. The Biden administration must now adjust its approach in order to truly hold Maduro accountable and bring about an end to the crisis in Venezuela. Sanctioning corrupt members of the Maduro regime and increasing diplomatic pressure is the only way to effectively weaken Maduro’s authoritarian hold on power. It is clear that the Biden administration’s policy of appeasement has backfired and is only strengthening Maduro’s grip on power. If the Biden administration fails to take concrete action in response to Maduro’s attempts to consolidate his power, the situation in Venezuela is likely to only worsen.