Venezuela Demands Lifting Of Sanctions For Election Deal


The head of Venezuela’s delegation involved in peace talks with the opposition on Thursday said free presidential elections in 2024 were dependent on the lifting of sanctions.

By Barrons

Mar 9, 2023

The opposition has put an election agreement at the center of the peace talks hosted by México, which were suspended by the government in November due to a delay in the transfer of foreign-held assets earmarked for humanitarian aid that have been frozen.

“Everyone is saying the same: we advocate for free, competitive, democratic and credible elections,” said Jorge Rodríguez, who is also the head of parliament.

“We agree with their advice: elections that are free… free from sanctions.”

Venezuela’s opposition is due to hold primaries in October to find a single unified candidate to take on President Nicolas Maduro in the election.

The opposition boycotted the last election in 2018, which was not recognized by many countries, including the United States.

The next year, Washington ramped up sanctions against the regime. The sanctions were first imposed in 2015 over the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

“Venezuela will not sign any agreement with this sector of the opposition until it is 100 percent free of sanctions, until the 765 unilateral coercive measures … are lifted,” said Rodríguez.

Lifting sanctions is the main card that the opposition holds in its negotiations with the government.

The opposition wants to guarantee “fair and transparent” elections in a vote in which Maduro is looking to secure a second six-year mandate.

One of the opposition’s main demands is that every potential candidate declared ineligible by Venezuelan courts — which they accuse of pandering to the regime’s whims — be habilitated.

However, Rodríguez insisted that those opposition figures who supported sanctions against the government should face “justice.”

“Those lackeys must pay,” he said.

Read More: Barrons – Venezuela Demands Lifting Of Sanctions For Election Deal

La Patilla in English