Venezuelan government and opposition resume talks in Mexico

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro participates in a ceremony with his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at the Miraflores presidential palace, in Caracas, Venezuela.  Venezuelan government and opposition delegations are preparing to resume negotiations in Mexico in mid-November to discuss a possible humanitarian agreement and conditions for the upcoming presidential election, three sources familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (HPD Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro participates in a ceremony with his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at the Miraflores presidential palace, in Caracas, Venezuela.  Venezuelan government and opposition delegations are preparing to resume negotiations in Mexico in mid-November to discuss a possible humanitarian agreement and conditions for the upcoming presidential election, three sources familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (HPD Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro participates in a ceremony with his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at the Miraflores presidential palace, in Caracas, Venezuela.  Venezuelan government and opposition delegations are preparing to resume negotiations in Mexico in mid-November to discuss a possible humanitarian agreement and conditions for the upcoming presidential election, three sources familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (HPD Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro participates in a ceremony with his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at the Miraflores presidential palace, in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuelan government and opposition delegations are preparing to resume negotiations in Mexico in mid-November to discuss a possible humanitarian agreement and conditions for the upcoming presidential election, three sources familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (HPD Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro participates in a ceremony with his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at the Miraflores presidential palace, in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuelan government and opposition delegations are preparing to resume negotiations in Mexico in mid-November to discuss a possible humanitarian agreement and conditions for the upcoming presidential election, three sources familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (HPD Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

MEXICO CITY (HPD) — Venezuelan government and opposition delegations are preparing to resume negotiations in Mexico in mid-November to discuss a possible humanitarian agreement and conditions for the upcoming presidential elections.

After more than a year of suspension of the talks, representatives of the government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition are preparing to resume them in the coming days in Mexico City, three people close to the negotiations told The Associated Press who asked that they were not identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the subject.

As an optional date, next week is being considered to resume the process under the facilitation of Norway, but everything will depend on the Venezuelan government delegation confirming attendance in the coming days.

A possible humanitarian agreement to address the social crisis in Venezuela will be brought to the new round of negotiations; the expansion of the operating license of the US oil company Chevron in Venezuelan territory; and the definition of conditions for the presidential elections that are scheduled for 2024 but could be brought forward.

The humanitarian agreement, which would include a fund of some 3,000 million dollars that would be administered by the United Nations, will be a central issue in the talks, said a source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak.

For several years, Venezuela has been submerged in a complex political, economic and social crisis that has hit the majority of the poor sectors, which represent about 95% of the population of some 28 million inhabitants, and has encouraged a massive migration of more than 7 million people.

Last May, the US Treasury Department renewed Chevron’s license to continue operating in Venezuela. Washington has been willing to relax the sanctions and extend the license of the oil company, but has made the authorization conditional on the Venezuelan government sitting down to negotiate with the opposition. For three years, the United States imposed sanctions on the Maduro government after questioning the 2018 elections in which he was re-elected for six years.

Between August and September of last year, government and opposition delegates participated in a negotiation process that came to nothing. On that occasion, Maduro’s team suspended the talks in protest at the extradition from Cape Verde to the United States of Colombian businessman Alex Saab, who faces charges for laundering hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly from corrupt deals with the Maduro government.

The Joe Biden administration is interested in the government and the opposition resuming talks to try to find a way out of the Venezuelan crisis that has lasted for several years and has unleashed massive migration in the region that has already impacted the United States. . Faced with the growing flow of Venezuelan migrants, Washington last month restricted asylums and imposed a plan of 24,000 humanitarian visas.

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