The United States, along with 19 countries and the European Union, held a meeting in which they again asked that Democracy is “restored” in Venezuela with “free” elections and the release of political prisoners, the US State Department reported on Wednesday.
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At the High-Level Coordination Meeting, held on Tuesday, participants reiterated the need for “a negotiated solution led by Venezuela to restore democracy” in the country and insisted on the importance of the dialogue framework launched on August 13 in Mexico City, it adds in a statement.
they call resume “urgently the negotiations inclusive in Mexico in good faith”, as contemplated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in that city, and request an agreement on an electoral body “independent and impartial, with maximum authority” that acts as guarantor of an electoral process no later than 2024, When are the presidential elections scheduled?
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The negotiations between the government and the opposition in Mexico, launched under the auspices of Norway, were suspended in October by Chavismo in rejection of the extradition to the United States of the Colombian businessman and key ally of President Nicolás Maduro, Alex Saab, considered a figurehead of the president.
The countries participating in the high-level meeting declare themselves willing to review the sanctions if “significant progress” is verified in the negotiations and they commit to dealing with “the serious humanitarian situation” in the country.
The end of international economic sanctions, which have cut off financing channels for the government, is one of Chavismo’s main requests.
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According to the UN, more than six million Venezuelans have left their country in recent years fleeing from a serious crisis, exacerbated after Maduro came to power in 2013.
The high-level meeting also addressed the need to “free and fair” presidential electionsthe immediate and unconditional release of all those arbitrarily detained,” the independence of the judiciary and electoral authorities, the right of parties to participate in the political process without restriction and to freedom of expression, and “the end of violations of human rights” in Venezuela.
Washington does not recognize the re-election in 2018 of Maduro and considers opposition leader Juan Guaidó president. The European Union, although it does not give him the title of president, considers Guaidó the only valid interlocutor in Venezuela, but maintains open channels with the Maduro government.
The meeting was attended by the United States, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, Australia, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden and United Kingdom.
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