Venezuelan Maduro aims for dialogue with opposition in August

Venezuelan Maduro aims for dialogue with opposition in August

CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has said he aims to start a dialogue with the country’s political opposition next month in Mexico, facilitated by Norway, a process he hoped the United States would adopt.

In May, the opposition changed its strategy and indicated its willingness to resume negotiations to resolve the political crisis in OPEC member Venezuela.

Maduro has overseen an economic collapse in a once prosperous Venezuela since taking office in 2013, and is accused by his national opponents, the United States and the European Union, of corruption, human rights violations and Rigging of his re-election in 2018. Maduro denies the charges.

In June, senior diplomats in Washington, Brussels and Ottowa said they would be willing to revise their sanctions against Maduro’s government if dialogue with the opposition led to significant progress towards free and fair elections.

“I can tell you that we are ready to go to Mexico,” Maduro said in an interview with state-funded Telesur television station on Saturday night. “We started to discuss a complicated and difficult program.”

The Venezuelan opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, accused Maduro of using previous rounds to buy time in the face of diplomatic pressure and sanctions from the United States and others. Guaidó is recognized by Washington and several other Western democracies as the legitimate leader of the country.

Opposition groups have said they are ready to negotiate the terms of the presidential and parliamentary elections with Maduro’s government.

Maduro, in turn, said he wanted negotiations to focus on lifting US sanctions on the financial and oil sectors.

He added that the negotiations would include “all oppositions,” a reference to opposition politicians who broke Guaidó’s call to boycott the 2020 parliamentary elections, which were won hands down by the United Socialist Party. of Venezuela to the power of Maduro.

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