Today, the Dominican Republic will host discussions to mediate Venezuela’s political crisis.
The talks follow preliminary discussions held between Nicolas Maduro’s regime and its opposition earlier this month. There, the parties agreed that representatives from Mexico, Chile, Bolivia and Nicaragua would participate in the mediation to ensure fairness. Mexico and Chile have strongly criticised Maduro’s regime in recent months, while left-wing Bolivia and Nicaragua have been among Venezuela’s staunchest allies.
After those preliminary dialogues, President Maduro claimed, “We are close to an agreement, of political co-existence, of peace and sovereignty”. The opposition, led by Julio Borges, the president of the National Assembly, was sceptical, stating that any agreement must include provisions for a fair election by the end of 2018, freedom for jailed activists, and acceptance of humanitarian aid.
Following a turbulent period of political unrest that caused at least 120 deaths, the deliberations have been welcomed by many. Regardless, the talks are likely a stalling tactic to relieve pressure from the Maduro regime, which has faced severe condemnation and sanctioning from the international community. As such, it is unlikely today’s discussions will achieve meaningful change in Venezuela.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.