Brian Nicholsassistant secretary of the Office for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States, reported that representatives of the opposition to the Nicolás Maduro regime met this Friday with authorities of the Joe Biden government to discuss the progress in the dialogue table that was reinstalled in Mexico in November 2022 to find a way out of the economic, social and political crisis in Venezuela.
“Valuable meeting with members of the negotiating delegation of the Unitary Platform of Venezuela to reaffirm US support for their work to achieve free and fair elections in Venezuela in 2024. We support the Venezuelan people in their effort to restore democracy”Nichols declared in a post on his Twitter account that included a photograph of the meeting.
In the negotiations in Mexico, restored in November after 15 months of paralysis, the opposition alliance Plataforma Unitaria demands to set a date for presidential elections in 2024 with guarantees, which begin with the lifting of judicial disqualifications for possible candidates.
Nicolás Maduro, meanwhile, insisted on Thursday in his demand that “all” international sanctions that sought to pressure his removal from power be lifted.
There is still no date for a next meeting between the parties to the dialogue, although Chavismo conditioned it on the disbursement of 3,000 million dollars blocked by sanctions, agreed last year for social projects. “We are waiting for that deposit to continue the talks, so that they are valid,” Maduro said in his annual message to Parliament.
On the other hand, the US government eliminated on Monday any mention of the opposition figure Juan Guaidó and his allies in the exceptions it contemplates in the sanctions imposed on Venezuela, after opposition leaders approved eliminating the “interim government”.
And the spokesman for the US Government’s National Security Council, John Kirby, recently reiterated in a telephone press conference that The United States continues to recognize the authority of the 2015 National Assembly (Parliament), whose term expired in January 2021 and does not recognize the 2021 Legislative, controlled by Chavismo. Most of these former parliamentarians from 2015 withdrew Guaidó from the presidency of the parallel Legislature at the end of the year, which will now be held by Dinorah Figuera, in exile in Spain.
(With information from AFP and EFE)