Sunday, June 13

Venezuela: Maduro assures that he is willing to meet with Juan Guaidó under the supervision of the EU and Norway | International

Nicolás Maduro during a working day in Caracas.
Nicolás Maduro during a working day in Caracas.Miraflores Press / Miraflores Press / EFE

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has surprised locals and strangers this Wednesday by announcing that he would be willing to meet with the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaidó, who proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela in 2019 and “with all the opposition” to seek a negotiated solution to the crisis in Venezuela, always under the supervision of the European Union, Norway, a country that has tried to mediate on previous occasions, and the Contact Group, made up of various European countries, including Spain and Latin America, such as Argentina.

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The statements of the Venezuelan president do not come by chance. For weeks, Chavismo has made concessions to opposition demands on human rights, humanitarian crisis and transparency in the election of the electoral referee, to see if the international community eases the pressure of the sanctions that weigh on Venezuela. Maduro’s assertions also come a day after Guaidó proposed a new timetable to get out of the crisis in exchange for lowering sanctions, which, ultimately, do not depend on him. Maduro did not avoid the tone of derision in his speech. “Now Guaidó wants to sit down with me to talk. Could it be that they gave him an order from the north? What trap will it bring? Guaidó is over, you are yet another opposition leader, you are not president, you have to talk to Maduro. I agree, with the help of the Norwegian government, the European Union, the Contact Group, whenever they want, however they want, wherever they want, to meet with all the opposition. “

Maduro’s claims have been expanding a general sense of surprise that had been suppressed these days. The radical sectors of the opposition, led by María Corina Machado, have warned that this is a new maneuver by Maduro to establish himself in power, control damages around the very serious accusations against him and buy time. Shortly before, the Venezuelan president had commented that the country was on the way to elections for governors and mayors, which are expected to be held on November 14.

Although it is undeniable that these announcements have made many people happy and have made many skeptics regain interest in national politics, the opposition seems to be clear that Maduro makes these concessions from force, from the control of power, and has an expectation moderated around Maduro’s true interest in agreeing on a path to a possible transition. Maduro accumulates a significant number of fronts that he cannot resolve, and is paralyzed by international sanctions. In the context of this withdrawal, a bill is included in the National Assembly in which the return of more than 100 business assets expropriated to their original owners is organized.

“We are not going to a negotiating table to talk about the elections for governors,” said Delsa Solórzano, from the Encuentro Ciudadano party, close to Guaidó. “We are going to work to design an agreement that allows us to address the national emergency and base a political transition in the future.” Freddy Guevara, from Voluntad Popular, one of those responsible for the opposition strategy, acknowledged that he has held talks with Deputy Francisco Torrealba, former minister and member of the national leadership of the Socialist Party of Venezuela, sent by Maduro to begin exchanging points of view. and objectives in a preliminary way in the framework of a political negotiation.

Meanwhile, Diosdado Cabello, one of the strong men of Chavismo, has declared shortly after Maduro’s statements, in his television program: “To my Chavista brothers, I tell you: we are not going to negotiate anything that goes against the Bolivarian Revolution. The Constitution establishes that the next presidential election is in 2024. The principles are not negotiated ”.

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