Venezuelan government to begin talks with opposition parties in Mexico City

The Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro is set to start talks with opposition parties today in Mexico City. Venezuela has

AFP

Photo: AFP

The Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro is set to start talks with opposition parties today in Mexico City.

Venezuela has been caught in a downward spiral for years, with growing political discontent, hyperinflation, energy insecurity and essential supply shortages all exacerbated by the pandemic.

At issue, after Maduro was re-elected to a second six-year term in May 2018 in a highly controversial contest, more than 50 countries recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate President. However, Maduro has clung to power using the military’s support, creating a political crisis and fueling Venezuela’s ills.

Today’s talks will be mediated by international actors and the support of Norway, a facilitator in similar 2019 talks. The opposition parties announced to participate are Democratic Action, First Justice, Popular Will and A New Time.

With the new dialogue, expect the Venezuelan ruling party to focus on lifting international coercions, including a 2019 oil embargo. While the US and EU have expressed their intentions to review sanctions, Maduro will have to negotiate free elections for November. The opposition will seek the opening of electoral spaces, negotiate the entry of humanitarian aid and release of political prisoners. Still, its chances of success are remote, given their internal fragmentation.

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