CARACAS, Nov 24 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government will resume talks with the opposition Friday after more than a year in a bid to resolve a political crisis that has gripped the country since a contested 2018 election.
Negotiations between the two sides last took place in October 2021 in Mexico, and international efforts have mounted in recent months to get the talks back on track.
The opposition is seeking free and fair presidential elections, next due in 2024, while Caracas wants the international community to recognize Maduro as the rightful president and lift sanctions.
“Dialogue between Maduro’s government and the Venezuelan opposition will resume on the 25th and 26th of November,” Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro wrote on Twitter.
He did not specify where the talks would take place, however, a source close to the negotiations said that delegations would meet in Mexico City on Friday.
After two prior negotiation efforts failed, the most recent round of talks between the government and opposition started in August 2021 in Mexico.
However, Maduro suspended the negotiations two months later in retaliation for the extradition to the United States by Cape Verde of Alex Saab, a Colombian national accused of acting as a money launderer for the Venezuelan socialist leader.
Earlier this month, negotiators for both sides met in Paris under the mediation of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Colombia’s Petro has become a new actor in the talks since becoming his country’s first leftist president in August.
He has worked to improve his country’s relationship with Venezuela, resuming diplomatic ties for the first time since 2019, when former president Ivan Duque refused to recognize Maduro’s election.
Venezuela is now also hosting peace talks between the Colombian government and the last official rebel group in the country, the National Liberation Army (ELN). — NNN-AGENCIES