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Government and opposition sign agreement to start talks

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Mexico City: Representatives of the Venezuelan government and the opposition have launched a round of talks in Mexico City with the aim of ending a five-year political impasse and addressing the economic collapse of the South American nation, which has caused millions to flee.

Unlike previous negotiating efforts, the talks will include more than a dozen countries, including the Netherlands, Russia, Bolivia, Turkey and Norway, who will act as facilitators.

At the National Museum of Anthropology, the parties agreed on a memorandum of understanding containing the roadmap that will guide the dialogue process.

In the memorandum of understanding, the parties agreed to discuss, among other issues, an election schedule with international observers, the lifting of sanctions against Venezuela and the “reestablishment” of the right to use frozen Venezuelan assets abroad.

Jorge Rodríguez, president of the National Assembly of Venezuela and Gerardo Blyde Pérez, head of the Venezuelan opposition delegation, shake hands, right, at the start of the talks in Mexico City.Credit:fake images

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro wants the sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe on officials and institutions to be lifted. Venezuela says that sanctions are responsible for the economic crisis of OPEC members. He said he would send his son, Nicolás Maduro Guerra, to Mexico.

For its part, the opposition coalition calls to allow the entry of humanitarian aid, including vaccines against COVID-19, to Venezuela; the release of dozens of supporters whom he considers “political prisoners”; and guarantees that he will be allowed to participate in the November regional elections.

“We already know what we disagree on. […] The job now is to find points of confluence to guarantee the future and happiness of the people of Venezuela, ”said Jorge Rodríguez, president of the Venezuelan parliament, at the beginning of the talks.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says he will send his son to the talks.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says he will send his son to the talks.Credit:AP

Dag Nylander, representative of the Norwegian government, adopted an optimistic tone, declaring that the talks deserve “strong support from the international community”.

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