News Latin America Venezuela negotiates

Venezuela negotiates

The Government of Venezuela and the opposition plan to resume this weekend in Mexico the negotiations that have been stopped for almost a year. It is a sign that invites optimism since only through dialogue will the country be able to get out of the quagmire in which it has been for years. The convulsive international situation after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the recent changes of governments to the left in Latin America, as well as the impulse of the United States Administration, have made the scenario more propitious for signing new agreements. In recent days, the support for the dialogue on the part of the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, has also become known.

The Government and the opposition arrive in the Mexican capital with much of the work done. As it must be in negotiations like these, the talks prior to any pact have taken place discreetly, perhaps for the first time in recent years. Continuous accusations and the display of differences that, on the other hand, are well-known have been avoided. Thus, they arrive at the meeting in the Mexican capital practically to exhibit to the public the agreement already reached, or at least in a very advanced state. It can also be understood as a gesture with the hosts, who bet heavily on these conversations and took a jug of cold water when Chavismo decided to get up from the table after the extradition of Alex Saab, the alleged figurehead of Nicolas Maduro.

The social scope of the agreements is also relevant. The creation of a large fund of billions of dollars is expected to help mitigate the subsistence crisis that has plagued Venezuela for more than five years. In the absence of knowing the details of it and how it will be managed, the favorable expectation is in itself positive. On another level of analysis, the opposition does not put the political situation in the foreground and the Government, despite the linguistic euphemisms, ends up accepting a crisis that they have been denying at all costs. The most important thing is that it will be the population that has directly suffered the debacle that will benefit from the improvements planned and still not specified in the health or energy system.

The formal return of the talks has also occurred thanks to the fact that, in parallel to this negotiation, relations between Chavismo and the United States have changed. It is the Joe Biden Administration that can reduce the economic sanctions imposed on the leaders of Chavismo. In addition, it has in its hands to facilitate the return of Venezuela to the international oil market, something that, on the other hand, is extremely convenient for the United States, to the extent that the war in Ukraine has unleashed a world energy crisis and will drive Venezuela away of alliances with Russia, Iran or Turkey.

The expectations are favorable, but they are just that: signs, and still insufficient. The way out of the crisis in Venezuela will not come until political guarantees reach all actors in the South American country, justice is fully comprehensive, and the persecution of those who do not think like Maduro and his allies ends, in a country that has experienced an exodus in recent years of more than seven million inhabitants. The only way to reach that democratizing point is dialogue and negotiation without giving in or the intransigence of other times.

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