The Venezuelan opposition of the Juan Guaidó party platform has made every effort to demand that the regime of Nicolás Maduro lthe release of political prisoners and the empowerment of opposition leaders in exchange for their participation in the second round of negotiations to be held from September 3-6 in Mexico City.
The two parties to the dialogue have made progress in their previous conversations in Caracas, as demonstrated by the coalition of parties that announced its participation in the regional and local elections of November 21, registering 22 of the 23 candidates for governors and a large part of the 335 aspiring mayors in the National Electoral Council.
This is the fourth time that the opposition has dialogued with Chavismo, as in previous processes held in Barbados, Oslo and the Dominican Republic. where they failed in their purposes.
The delegations are the same that began the meetings on August 13 in Mexico with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, under the mediation of Norway, and the international observation of Russia and the Netherlands.
Nicolás Maduro, during a ceremony with the agricultural sector in Caracas (Venezuela). Photo EFE
In the document, the representatives of Guaidó and Maduro commit to debate seven points such as establishing political rights for all, giving electoral guarantees and an electoral schedule.
In addition, lift the sanctions and return the assets of the Republic abroad, respect for public powers, the renunciation of violence and reparation of the victims, protection of the national economy and social protection measures.
In the accepted terms, the objective is to reach an agreement of an intense, integral and peaceful negotiation to establish clear rules with respect to the National Constitution. “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, is the slogan. The parties can make partial agreements.
The lawyer and former mayor of Baruta, Gerardo Blyde, He is the head of the opposition delegation, led by Guaidó, who is recognized by 50 governments as the interim president of Venezuela.
Freddy Guevara, upon being released. AP Photo
It includes Luis Emilio Rondón from the UNT party, Stalin González, Mariela Magallanes from Causa R, Carlos Vecchio from Voluntad Popular, Claudia Nikken (executive secretary), Luis Aquiles Moreno from AD, Tomás Guanipa from Primero Justicia and Roberto Enriquez from Copei. It has not yet been confirmed whether Freddy Guevara would replace Vecchio.
On the part of Maduro, the president of the Chavista National Assembly, Jorge Rodriguez, elected in December of last year, is the head of the official delegation.
It is made up of the governor of Miranda, Héctor Rodríguez, the president’s son Nicolas Maduro Guerra (Nicolasito), and also Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, Jorge’s sister, who did not appear in the first Mexican round. The regime has not reported on the rest of its representatives.
It has not been easy for the opposition coalition agree among its 49 members to participatero not in the elections after a long period of indecision due to the lack of guarantees and conditions in the process.
The Maduro regime has only granted small gestures such as the authorization a month ago of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) card, banned in 2017, so that the opposition coalition had a way to participate, the return of some disqualified politicians and the release of only two detained deputies.
The partial agreements do not mean the legitimization of Maduro, Guaidó said. “You do not have and will not have recognition”, he stressed.
The deputy and secretary general of Acción Democrática, Henry Ramos Allup, made it clear that they will participate even when they do not have all the electoral guarantees. “What we defend is the constitutional right of elections and not the recognition of Maduro“, said.
He acknowledged that the negotiations in Mexico have made it possible to resolve issues such as political disqualifications and even stated that almost all are resolved.
“We are struggling with the disqualifications (in the negotiation) and we have achieved many authorizations, a good part of the disqualifications, practically all, will be resolved,” he said.
He also argued that the opposition “He cannot continue to live on fantasies”Nor does sitting at the table with Chavismo in Mexico mean recognition of the administration of Nicolás Maduro.
“The process in Mexico does not mean that for them we are members of an interim government and the fact that we are there it does not mean that we recognize it “Ramos clarified.
On the conditions to continue in the process, he said that discussions continue so that there is observation of the European Union and the release of political prisoners.
“We are struggling for there to be observation by the European Union and if these talks continue to advance, of course there will be international observation,” added Ramos Allup.
He justified his participation in the regionals by “the result of the surveys and when they saw us working to participate more, the surveys continued to rise. People want to participate”.
For his part, Freddy Guevara, coordinator of Voluntad Popular, released 15 days ago, affirmed that they demand in Mexico the freedom of all 332 political prisoners and he warned about the 61 cases of patients behind bars who require medical attention because they are in danger of dying.
Opposition deputy Gilber Caro was also released two days ago when he took his flight into exile without saying which country he was traveling to. “I got my release thanks to Chavista groups that they acknowledge my innocence and they achieved my release, “he wrote on his twitter, stating that” I will return to Venezuela soon. “