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Maduro conditions the dialogue with the opposition to the lifting of all sanctions against Venezuela

Maduro conditions the dialogue with the opposition to the lifting of all sanctions against Venezuela
30/01/2022

Maduro conditions the dialogue with the opposition to the lifting of all sanctions against Venezuela

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Nicolás Maduro has listed this Wednesday (early Thursday morning in Spain) on the national television network what his conditions are to start a process of political dialogue with the opposition, after the proposal to resume negotiations presented on May 11 by the opposition leader Juan Guaido. “Immediate lifting of all sanctions and unilateral coercive measures; full recognition of the National Assembly and the powers of the country and the return of bank accounts to Petróleos de Venezuela and the Central Bank of Venezuela,” Maduro asserted.

The Venezuelan president agreed with the mediation that the Kingdom of Norway will exercise in these work meetings with his political opponents, still in negotiations. "Do you want to negotiate?" Maduro asked. “I put these three points. From then on, I'm willing to go wherever they want. We measure ourselves on November 21 and let the people decide, ”he added, referring to the elections for governors and mayors scheduled for that day.

In a very unusual way, Maduro – as Hugo Chávez also once did – assured that in the event of a possible defeat in the 2024 presidential elections, Chavismo would hand over power “and go to the streets.”

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Maduro's statements have not been answered by the opposition, within which caution is imposed to prevent an exchange of statements from causing an escalation of tension and ruining the atmosphere prior to the work days. Although the opposition leaders are reluctant to declare, no one has wanted to take these statements as a circumstance that poses an obstacle to the start of a negotiation.

Juan Guaidó, who had offered a press conference that same morning, declared that the negotiations between Chavista leaders and opposition leaders should begin "as soon as possible." Guaidó also said that he had thought of alternatives in case the talks with Chavismo failed. Very shortly after Maduro's statement, Henrique Capriles had commented in an interview on social networks that "these issues cannot be aired through a microphone" and that the interest that should prevail is the advancement of efforts to dialogue.

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Two days ago, the opposition current that accompanies Henrique Capriles, the first to initiate a rapprochement with Maduro, had published a statement in which it declared its support for the political talks between Maduro and the opposition represented by Juan Guaidó, head of the interim government. and supported by the largest democratic parties. The statement expressed its recognition of the effort made "by our colleagues." The unitary gesture, very unusual at this time, was enthusiastically received by opposition activists.

Capriles's message addresses, in part, an insistent demand from some countries that mediate in the Venezuelan conflict so that the opposing commanders recognize each other. The rethinking of strategies and the relaxation of Juan Guaidó's positions regarding what was sustained in the past seems to generate a small truce in a context where recriminations and "I told you so" have abounded.

The countries of the international community that participate in these rapprochements – most especially the United States, and Spain on behalf of Europe – intend that the complex network of sanctions imposed on the Chavista state serve to promote agreements. These sanctions are likely to be modified or eliminated to the extent that Maduro agrees to fair play and offers guarantees for the holding of fair elections.

In the "Agreement to Save Venezuela" presented three weeks ago, Juan Guaidó proposed to Maduro the early holding of presidential and parliamentary elections that relegitimize public powers and restore popular sovereignty, and offered political guarantees to Chavismo in case of his departure. power.

The flat Bolivarian leader maintains that such a thing is impossible, and instead proposes holding the elections for governors and mayors constitutionally scheduled for this year. The presidential elections, still without guarantees for a satisfactory agreement, would be scheduled for 2024, when Maduro's six-year term ends. After these arguments, politicians line up to start the dialogue.

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