- Title: Venezuelan government and opposition talks open in Mexico City
- Date: 14th August 2021
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (AUGUST 13, 2021) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS PARTICIPATING IN TALKS SIGNING DIALOGUE AGREEMENT OFFICIALS SHOWING SIGNED AGREEMENTS REPRESENTATIVE OF VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT, JORGE RODRIGUEZ, SHOWING SIGNED AGREEMENT GENERAL VIEW OF EVENT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REPRESENTATIVE OF VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION, GERARDO BLYDE, SAYING: "Today we are starting the second stage of the negotiation process, which we know will be very complex. There will certainly be difficult moments, for which everyone in our team has come prepared for. The previous exploratory phase culminates today. It has not been easy to agree on an agenda, to discuss and develop the guidelines and format for which the negotiations will take place." GENERAL VIEW OF EVENT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REPRESENTATIVE OF VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION, GERARDO BLYDE, SAYING: "Our Venezuela is in a very bad state, very bad for our people, suffering from the worst crisis in modern history. Our homeland has little to offer for the personal development of citizens, of each father and mother, of each young person, child, elderly person. Part of our people have fled and continue to flee in search of opportunity outside of our borders." GENERAL VIEW OF EVENT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REPRESENTATIVE OF VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT, JORGE RODRIGUEZ, SAYING: "Our agenda is to persist, for Venezuelans to advance in these negotiations and in these talks, that we secure urgent agreements, to propose in concrete terms urgent, quick agreements that protect the people of Venezuela in social and economic terms." GENERAL VIEW OF EVENT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REPRESENTATIVE OF VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT, JORGE RODRIGUEZ, SAYING: "For Venezuela not to be managed on the basis of pressure, that does not work with us. What works with us is your word, what works with us is an awareness, an agreement, dialogue and talks." GENERAL VIEW OF EVENT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FACILITATOR IN TALKS, DAG NILANDER, SAYING: "A bold decision has been made to start a full negotiation process, to search for a peaceful and political solution to the situation in Venezuela. Norway applauds that decision and we believe that it deserves strong support from the international community." MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER MARCELO EBRARD (CENTRE) SHAKING HANDS WITH RODRIGUEZ, BLYDE / RODRIGUEZ AND BLYDE SHAKING HANDS RODRIGUEZ SHAKING HANDS WITH NILANDER / PEOPLE APPLAUDING GENERAL VIEW OF EVENT
- Embargoed: 28th August 2021 04:03
- Keywords: Juan Guaido Mexico President Nicolas Maduro Venezuela opposition talks
- Location: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: South America / Central America,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EQ934UF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART AUDIO AS INCOMING
Representatives of the Venezuelan government and the opposition began a round of talks on Friday (August 13) in Mexico City aimed at overcoming Venezuela's acute political and economic crisis, which has caused millions to flee the Latin American nation.
Unlike previous negotiation efforts, the talks will include more than a dozen countries, among them the Netherlands, Russia, Bolivia, Turkey and Norway, which will act as the facilitator.
At the National Museum of Anthropology, the parties agreed to a memorandum of understanding containing the road map that will guide the dialog process.
For the talks to advance to a potential agreement, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro demands that sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe on officials and institutions be lifted. Venezuela says the sanctions are responsible for the OPEC member's economic crisis.
For its part, the opposition coalition calls to allow humanitarian aid, including vaccines against COVID-19, to enter into Venezuela; the release of dozens of supporters whom it considers "political prisoners;" and guarantees it will be allowed to participate in regional elections in November.
The return to the negotiating table represents a turnaround for the opposition, which in the past accused Maduro of using dialog to buy time and defuse international pressure. The Venezuelan government abandoned the 2019 dialog, which took place in Barbados and Norway, after the United States tightened sanctions.
U.S. President Joe Biden has not relaxed sanctions against the financial and oil sectors of Venezuela since taking office in January and has maintained support for opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president in January 2019 after claiming there was fraud in Maduro's 2018 re-election.
The Venezuelan crisis has generated a massive exodus that the Organisation of American States recently estimated would reach 7 million people by 2022, the largest in the world, exceeding the likes of Syria.
(Production: Carlos Carrillo, Paul Vieira)
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