Representatives of Venezuela’s government and opposition are set to meet in Mexico beginning in August for a new round of negotiations aimed at ending the South American country’s deep political crisis, five people familiar with the matter said.
Jul 8, 2021
The dialogue would be mediated by international parties and is supported by Norway, which acted as a mediator in a previous negotiation attempt in 2019 and is currently in touch with both sides to set the agenda, the sources said.
President Nicolas Maduro, who has overseen an economic collapse in the once-prosperous OPEC nation, has said he is willing to negotiate with opposition leader Juan Guaido, but only over an agenda focused on the lifting of U.S. sanctions.
Washington accuses Maduro of rights violations and rigging his 2018 re-election. Maduro denies those charges.
Guaido, by contrast, has said his delegation is seeking conditions for free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections.
The planned negotiations come two weeks after the chief diplomats for the United States, Canada and the European Union said they would be willing to revise their sanctions on Maduro’s government if negotiations lead to “meaningful progress” toward transparent elections.
The return to the negotiating table represents a change in tack for the opposition, which has in the past accused Maduro’s government of using rounds of dialogue to buy time and defuse international pressure.
Read More: Yahoo News – Exclusive – Talks between Venezuelan gov’t, opposition set for August -sources