Venezuela's Maduro, Opposition Return To Negotiation Table
The government of Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition are to restart political talks in Mexico on Saturday after a 15-month standoff, aiming to break a stalemate over what constitutes "free" elections
Mexico City, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 26th Nov, 2022 ) :The government of Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition are to restart political talks in Mexico on Saturday after a 15-month standoff, aiming to break a stalemate over what constitutes "free" elections.
Maduro's opposition is seeking free and fair presidential elections, next due in 2024, while Caracas wants the international community to recognize Maduro as the rightful president and to lift sanctions, particularly a US oil embargo.
The government side said earlier that the pact was expected to establish a mechanism to restore access to funds frozen in the international financial system.
The money would be used to improve public health care and the power grid, according to a statement released by Rodriguez, who did not specify the amount or where the funds were blocked.
- 'Live in peace' - The US government has signaled a willingness to lift restrictions on US energy companies' operations in Venezuela, including possibly offering a license to oil major Chevron to expand operations.
But the State Department insists that any easing would come only if the Maduro government moves in concrete steps toward holding free elections.
Rodriguez, who also presides over the National Assembly, said before departure from a Caracas airbase that his team will defend "the right that we have... to live in peace." For its part, the Unitary Platform opposition group demanded concrete steps to resolve "the humanitarian crisis, respect for human rights... and especially (guarantees for) free and observable elections." Nevertheless, a source close to the negotiating process told AFP that the opposition has not reached consensus over the conditions it requires to take part in a 2024 vote.
Guaido's influence has waned in recent years, and he has lost key allies both at home and in the region, where many countries have since elected leftist presidents.
Colombian leader Gustavo Petro has become a new actor in the talks since taking the reins as his country's first leftist president in August.