UPDATE 1-U.S. licenses to Venezuela going in right direction, but they are not enough -Maduro

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By Vivian Sequera

CARACAS, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday said licenses and authorizations so far granted by the U.S. government to the OPEC member country are going in right direction, but they are not enough.

The U.S. Treasury Department last week extended a license to U.S. oil firm Chevron Corp to boost oil output and expand operations in Venezuela as part of a plan to encourage political talks between Maduro and the opposition towards a presidential election.

"Venezuela demands the total lifting of criminal sanctions over the oil industry," he said in a press conference, adding that the U.S. measures contravene international trade.

The authorization to Chevron is the first to come from a long list of customers, business partners and creditors that have been waiting for years for U.S. sanctions to be eased so they can recoup pending debt and reanimate activities in the country, particularly in the energy sector.

But Washington has made clear that any progress on its sanction withdrawal strategy will only come after the parties achieve agreements on an electoral calendar, reinstatement of excluded candidates, a return of political parties to rightful leaders, and access for international electoral observers.

A series of contracts

to be soon signed between state company PDVSA and Chevron,

following the license, will be "very positive for both parties," Maduro said, without providing details on the contracts or the oil cargoes pending to be allocated to Chevron for exports to the United States. (Reporting by Vivian Sequera and Mayela Armas, writing by Marianna Parraga)