Mexico to Host Venezuela Political Crisis MeetingBy Paloma Duran | Mon, 08/09/2021 - 10:43
President López Obrador announced that Mexico will host negotiations between the government of Nicolás Maduro and his opposition party to improve the political situation in Venezuela, which has worsened due to the upcoming regional elections on Nov. 21
Mexican authorities have confirmed Maduro's recent declaration that Mexico will host Venezuela´s political crisis meetings. López Obrador announced that Maduro‘s government representatives and members of the opposition will meet in the country since "Mexico seeks to reach dialogue and agreements between the parties." No further details on the date or location were provided. However, negotiations are likely to begin Aug. 13-15, two sources told Reuters.
The suggestion that Mexico host these negotiations was proposed by Norway, which was a mediator in 2019. However, Maduro’s government withdrew the negotiation after former President Donald Trump increased sanctions against the country.
Maduro said that Norway's proposal is a great idea since Mexico is an impartial country. During the negotiations, Jorge Rodríguez, Minister of Communication and Information, and Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs, will be representing Maduro’s government. Meanwhile, lawyer Gerardo Blyde and Carlos Vecchio, Juan Guaidó's ambassador to Washington, will represent the opposition.
Guaidó said the meeting should focus on obtaining free and fair regional elections on Nov. 21. However, Maduro said that the main issue to be discussed should be the lifting of US sanctions, which has aggravated the country's crisis. Maduro announced that he has three conditions: “1) US and the European Union lift all sanctions; 2) the political sectors must recognize the validity and functioning of the public powers and the constitutionality of the country and its legitimate authorities and 3) all parties must renounce violent plans.”
The negotiations were proposed two weeks after US, Canada and EU diplomats said that sanctions on Maduro’s government would be reviewed if the negotiations lead to "significant progress." However, S&P Global experts believe sanctions will continue as US President Joe Biden prioritizes other foreign policy issues and Maduro's relationship with Cuba complicates the situation.
Venezuela has a political crisis since both Maduro and Guaidó claim to be the legitimate leader of the country. In December 2016, opposition parties obtained a majority in the National Assembly. However, Maduro’s government created the National Constituent Assembly, made up exclusively of his followers who have more power than the National Assembly. In 2018, Maduro was reelected. However, he was accused of electoral fraud. As a result, Guaidó proclaimed himself interim president in 2019.