According to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a US team has not called opposition groups to a meeting

Nicolas Maduro 1
Nicolas Maduro 1

On Tuesday President Nicolás Maduro, a spokesman said the main alliance of opposition political parties in Venezuela has not been convened by the United States delegation that traveled to the country to continue talks with the government.

“We are a political body, we are not an institutional body, if someone invites us to talk, we talk, but we have not been summoned, we do not know the agenda,” Omar Barboza, coordinator of the opposition bloc, told reporters. Regarding the visit of representatives from Washington, which coincides with supply problems and the rise in fuel prices after the war in Ukraine, Barboza insisted that the “unified platform” has “no information.”

“They are on their agenda, which we are wrong to report because we don’t know about it,” Barboza responded to the journalists’ insistence, during a press conference in which they reiterated their plan to call primary elections to define a candidate who confronts Chavismo in the 2024 presidential elections. On May 16, the opposition announced a primary process in 2023, to choose a single candidate.

The delegation of the United States government arrived on Monday to continue the talks that began in March, Nicolás Maduro announced, without offering details about the officials that make it up, or the issues, although he recalled that Venezuela is in the “oil market.” During the rapprochements between Caracas and Washington, which began on March 5, a few weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy issues were discussed, the White House confirmed at the time.

Both governments broke off relations at the beginning of 2019, after Washington, along with fifty other countries, recognized the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president and ignored Nicolás Maduro’s re-election in 2018, considering it “fraudulent.” Since then, the United States has led the international pressure to demand the departure of Nicolás Maduro and the calling of new elections, with severe financial sanctions that included an oil embargo.

In this scenario, Guaidó “does not rule out” is one of the candidates in the primaries, according to sources, although Barboza said Tuesday that at the moment the unitary platform is not clear about the opposition leader’s decision. “We are not clear, that is Guaidó’s decision, he has not announced that that has to be decided by him if he is going to participate or not,” Barboza told AFP. The opposition-held primaries in 2012. Henrique Capriles was the winner but later lost the presidential elections to Hugo Chávez.

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Written by Rachita Salian


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