In that meeting were the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and France.
The possibility of a new rapprochement between the Government of Venezuela and a sector of the opposition was once again open after the meeting held in Brussels by the presidents of Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and France, together with the Venezuelan vice president, Delcy Rodriguez, the leader opposition politician Gerardo Blyde, and the high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell.
In a statement from Belgium, where the III Summit of Heads of State and Government between the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) is taking place, the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, expressed his willingness to receive back in your country to the delegations of the Government and the Venezuelan radical opposition to promote dialogue, broken in 2021.
At the end of last April, the ‘International Conference on the Political Process in Venezuela’ was held in Bogota, the purpose of which, according to its organizers, was to “unravel political conflictin the South American country.
Just over a week after that meeting, which was attended by 20 diplomatic representatives from different governments from America, Africa and Europe, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a license that allows for the confiscation of the Venezuelan state oil refinery Citgo, the subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) in the North American country, under opposition control.
That decision by Washington was classified by Caracas as a “blow” and as a “mockery” that directly attempted “against the spirit of the meeting called by President Petro.”
Who met again in Brussels?
At the meeting, whose images and short videos were broadcast on the networks, Petro and the presidents Alberto Fernandez, from Argentina; Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from Brazil and Emmanuel Macron, from France. In the same way, the high representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, attended.
Why Macron is part of the meeting?
Last November, the president of the National Assembly (AN) of Venezuela, Jorge Rodriguez, visited France, where he held a first approach with a delegation from the Venezuelan opposition, with a view to reestablishing the dialogue process within the framework of the V Paris Forum on Peace.
This forum, focused on Latin America, was attended by Fernandez, Petro, Borrell and the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt. Lula da Silva participated remotely with a video.
In a meeting with his Argentine counterpart, the French president asserted that the negotiations between both parties should “resume as soon as possible in Mexico” and start with “a humanitarian agreement and political guarantees”.
As a representative of the delegation of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela before the dialogue, I participated in the V Forum of Paris for Peace, France. We are convinced that Vzla’s path is dialogue, the suspension of all illegal sanctions and respect for the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/zgkK0Sutj3
— Jorge Rodriguez (@jorgerpsuv) November 11, 2022
What topics were covered?
According to a communique issued by Casa Rosada, at the Brussels meeting “the parties were encouraged to build a roadmap for the elections to be held in 2024“.
Likewise, “the importance of finding a political solution that guarantees the full validity of democracy and respect for human rights” was stressed.
The meeting discussed the need to “remove the economic sanctions that punish the Venezuelan people” to contribute “to the recovery of the economy and well-being” in the South American country.
Fernandez, the statement said, referred to the need to “deepen the path of respect for Venezuelan sovereignty” and to help “every possible negotiation, trying to make democratic coexistence in Venezuela a reality.”
The Argentine president also expressed that the role of the international community “should consist of promoting and supporting the resumption of dialogue between the opposition and the government,” because “there is no other way to resolve the deep crisis that has led millions of Venezuelans to to leave your country.”
As Petro expressed, the intention of this meeting is to “re-acclimate” the dialogue process that allows “reaching a democratic agreement”.
Although the date for a new cycle of negotiations between the most radical Venezuelan opposition and the government is not yet known, previous attempts have been cut short by actions by Washington, which has ended up torpedoing the process.
One of them was the extradition of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab to the US in 2021, which caused the Venezuelan government to get up from the table in Mexico. The other action that boycotted the approaches was the issuance of the OFAC license which, according to the vice president, “allows Citgo to finish off” the radical opposition group linked to former deputy Juan Guaido and the so-called ‘Unitary Platform’, under the name of ‘ National Assembly of 2015’.