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The US is willing to participate in the forum convened by Petro for dialogue in Venezuela

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Mar 29, 2023 19:21 GMT

Brian Nichols said that they would even consider lifting the sanctions imposed on Caracas if negotiations between the government and the opposition progress.

The US would be willing to participate in the international conference that Colombia will organize with the aim of promoting political dialogue between the Government of the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, opposition sectors and representatives of civil society.

Yes, we are willing to participate. We are concerned about the situation of the Venezuelan people, and any country that is contributing its good votes and good offices to improve the situation is something important,” said the Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the US State Department, Brian Nichols. , in an interview with EFE.

The US government spokesman added that his country could also lift sanctions imposed on Venezuela, if they observe progress in the negotiations between the Maduro administration and the opposition.

Following Nichols’ response, Colombian President Gustavo Petro expressed his satisfaction that Washington welcomed the initiative. “Very good USA for accepting the proposal of an international conference on democracy in Venezuela. A continent without sanctions, at peace and with a lot of democracy,” said the Colombian president.

The announcement made by Petro was known on Tuesday through a release disclosed by the Presidency of Colombia. The letter details that the meeting will be held in Bogotá, on a date to be defined after Easter, and delegations from the US, Europe and Latin America will be invited.

“The purpose of the meeting is reopen roads and build a roadmap to stimulate and support dialogue between the Venezuelan opposition, the civil society of that country and the Government of Venezuela,” the statement said.

Dialogue on hold for not complying with agreements

The dialogue ran into a wall again, after the radical faction of the opposition did not comply with the partial agreement agreed last November in Mexico, and that committed them to return to the Venezuelan State more than 3,200 million dollars withheld abroad by the financial blockade imposed by the US and the European Union against Caracas.

These resources that, according to the pact, were going to be used to execute social development plans and important investments in public works destined for fundamental sectors such as services, education, health, food, among other areas, were going to be administered by the United Nations Organization (UN) so that it could intervene as guarantor of the proper use of the funds.

What are Venezuela's 'red lines' for dialogue with the radical opposition?

If the agreement is not fulfilled, the Government of Venezuela told the opposition not to have a word and outlined as a transversal requirement to resume dialogue, the total lifting of the sanctions that keep the blockade against the country active.

“Venezuela is not going to sign any agreement with that sector of the Venezuelan opposition until the 765 unilateral coercive measures are lifted signed by Donald Trump and Barack Hussein Obama,” express at the beginning of March the chief negotiator of the Venezuelan Government, Jorge Rodríguez.

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