Maduro government to resume talks with Venezuelan opposition
Lifting of US sanctions and 2024 presidential elections among issues to be discussed
The Venezuelan government and political opposition will resume talks on Friday after having suspended them for a year.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who has been a key player in achieving the approach.
"On November 25 and 26, talks between (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro's government and the Venezuelan opposition will resume," Petro wrote on his Twitter account.
Although the details of the meeting are still unknown, Petro announced a few days ago that the talks would include the future of political prisoners and the lifting of US sanctions for humanitarian purposes.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has sent delegations to the Venezuelan capital Caracas to discuss easing Washington’s sanctions, a move that would help US oil giant Chevron expand its operations in Venezuela. However, Washington said that this would only occur if the two sides made progress in political talks.
The talks, which will take place in Mexico under the mediation of Norway, will also cover Venezuela’s 2024 presidential elections, which the opposition has said it does not trust as Maduro has already announced that he plans to remain in power until 2030.
Maduro was elected in 2013 after the death of former President Hugo Chavez, whom he served under as vice president. He became a presidential candidate again in 2018 in elections that the opposition and the US called a sham due to several irregularities and again emerged victorious.
The announcement of the resumption of the negotiations comes days after Petro met with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, with whom he discussed Venezuela's political situation.
“Negotiations were already underway. They were somewhat frozen, but I believe they have been revitalized,” the Colombian president said in Paris. “A political agreement is possible in Venezuela, just as a peace agreement is possible in Colombia," he added.
So far, neither the government nor the opposition has made an official statement on the matter.
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