December 3, 2023

Venezuela’s main opposition coalition, led by politicians linked to socialist parties, revealed this week that its leaders had met with a delegation sent by President Joe Biden to discuss alleged “negotiations” with socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro.

The Alliance – which calls itself the Unified Program for Venezuela after Maduro forbidden In its previous edition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) – she provided few details in a press release published on Tuesday, and spent most of her letter trying to justify talks with Maduro. Negotiations between Maduro and the opposition have been unpopular among the vast majority of Venezuelans for years, and polls consistently show that a majority of Venezuelans do not support the establishment, the socialist opposition.

It appears that the US delegation met the members of the Unified Program after Maduro’s visit. The United States does not recognize Maduro as the legal president of Venezuela as he lost that title in 2019 after the sham 2018 presidential “elections.” The constitutional president of Venezuela is former legislator Juan Guaido, but Guaido has completely failed to exercise any of his powers as Maduro retains control of the military and law enforcement .

“On the occasion of the visit of the US delegation, we held a meeting today to coordinate efforts to re-establish the negotiation process,” the consolidated platform announced in its press release, referring to previous talks with the Maduro regime in Mexico. , which did not result in agreements or tangible changes in daily life in Venezuela.

“We reiterate that we are ready to immediately resume the process of serious negotiations under the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Mexico which we insist must have the objective of ending the suffering of the Venezuelan people,” the press release read, “and achieving change through more than one powerful tool.” Citizen, vote.

The press release cited the many severe social problems that are killing Venezuela under socialism as a reason to negotiate with its dictator.

“We Venezuelans endure the agony of family disintegration, lack of decent salaries, and lack of health care[care]And the statement continued: “There are no public services, the quality of life,” “there is a serious humanitarian crisis and this forces us to rest until we reach a complete agreement that allows building lasting solutions to alleviate all these serious problems and also achieve the democracy and freedom that we all aspire to.”

The Unified Program did not specify whether its members discussed any of these issues with the Americans.

Neither the White House nor the State Department has released a statement or press release about this meeting at press time. However, the Biden administration confirmed that a delegation had arrived in Caracas and met Maduro after the dictator himself announced the exchange on television.

“I am in contact with Jorge Rodriguez,” Maduro declared, referring to the head of the Socialist-dominated legislature. He is currently receiving a delegation from the United States.

An important delegation from the United States government arrived in Venezuela two hours ago. On Monday, Maduro said he was working to continue the contacts that began on March 5 and to continue the bilateral agenda.

National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez gives an interview at Congress in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed The meeting to the left-wing CNN channel on Monday. Various reports citing anonymous sources said that Biden’s representatives were seeking to discuss the release of Americans imprisoned in Venezuela; Maduro did not give any details in his comments.

Biden sent representatives for the first time to meet with Maduro in March. At the time, rumors circulated that Biden was seeking to lift sanctions on the Venezuelan oil industry to replace oil supplies coming from Russia that is now under sanctions without having to allow more domestic oil production. In contrast to allowing US oil companies to produce at home, buying Venezuelan oil is likely to enrich Russia significantly – eliminating the purpose of buying it in the first place – because the Maduro regime owes billions of dollars to both Russia and China, its biggest sponsors. .

Two months later, the Biden administration was reported to have green-lit talks between the Venezuelan government and US oil company Chevron, which had previously been in violation of sanctions.

Unidentified Biden officials reportedly claimed in comments to the press: “(Chevron) is not permitted to enter into any agreement with PDVSA or any other activity related to PDVSA.” “So basically what they do is just talk.”

Engagement between the Venezuelan socialist opposition and the Maduro regime is very unpopular in Venezuela. Guaido began accepting talks with Maduro immediately after he took office in 2019, something 88 percent of Venezuelans opposed at the time, according to a poll by Meganálisis. In response to the backlash, Guaido insisted that he was not engaging in “negotiations” with Maduro, but rather in “mediation.”

Opinion polls over the past three years indicate no significant change in Venezuelans’ attitudes toward the opposition. A Meganálisis poll published in May found that 78 percent of Venezuelans describe opposition leaders as “cheats”. Another 82.3 percent said they “do not trust” opposition leaders.

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