Mexico, Uruguay hail Venezuela’s deal with opposition


Mexico and Uruguay have reiterated their support for dialogue and negotiation between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties after a deal reached on Monday, said a joint statement.

“The Governments of Mexico and Uruguay reiterate, as we did on February 6 in Montevideo, that the path of dialogue and negotiation is the only acceptable way to reach a peaceful solution to the situation that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is going through,” said two countries in a joint statement by Mexico’s foreign ministry on Thursday.

On Feb. 6, the two countries offered to be mediators of the talks between Venezuela’s government and the opposition, but Norway took the responsibility to lead Oslo and Barbados talks.

Mexico and Uruguay urged the Venezuelan authorities for the ongoing dialogue efforts to take place within “an inclusive framework of civility and peace,” to achieve “real and democratic solutions that build trust between the parties”.

“We value the release of the first vice president of the National Assembly, Deputy Edgar Zambrano, and we urge the Venezuelan authorities to continue efforts to free all people who are in similar circumstances,” the statement added.

Four months after his arrest on treason charges for involvement in a military uprising against Venezuela’s government on April 30, opposition politician Edgar Zambrano was released from custody.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government has facilitated the release after “a partial agreement” with several opposition parties on Monday.

Maduro government and five opposition party leaders announced that they agreed on starting a new dialogue process to tackle the problems facing the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) nation.

The Mesa Nacional, or National Table, process will reportedly focus on future elections, prisoner release and a united opposition to the U.S. blockade.

The opposition leader Juan Guaido was not part of the new deal and said the Norway-mediated negotiations are “finished” and reiterated that he represents the only legitimate government in Venezuela.

Maduro hailed the agreements signed by five opposition parties and called it a “step to move towards living together and peace”.

“All the doors of dialogue will remain open for the tranquility of all Venezuelans,” he said on Twitter.

Since the beginning of the year, Venezuela has been embroiled in political unrest as Maduro and Guaido engaged in a power battle, while country’s economy has been in precipitous decline following a global downturn in the price of crude oil — the country’s main export.

Nearly 5,000 people leave Venezuela every day due to instability and uncertainty amid the economic and political crisis, and three million Venezuelans have left since 2015, according to the UN refugee agency.
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