The United States government has announced that it will send a delegation to the International Conference on Venezuela convened by Colombian President Gustavo Petro to revive talks between the Venezuelan government and the Unitary Platform of the far-right opposition. The conference is schedule for the coming Tuesday, April 25, in Bogota.
On Friday, April 21, Juan González, White House advisor for Latin America, said to Colombian media the group will be made up of himself, the special presidential adviser for the Americas, Senator Chris Dodd, and deputy Homeland Security Advisor Jon Finer.
International Conference on Venezuela: Colombia’s President Petro Suggests Incorporating All Political Groups
“We are going to travel to Colombia to have this conversation with Colombia and with other representatives of the international community,” González commented to Colombian media outlet NTN24. According to him, for Washington “the Venezuela issue” has an “impact” on “security, migration, and peace processes in Colombia.”
González reiterated that the Biden administration expects the Maduro government to take “concrete steps” to “establish democracy” before considering the lifting of illegal sanctions. According to Washington, such steps include finalizing an electoral schedule, updating the electoral registry, legalizing some political parties, and accepting electoral observers endorsed by Washington.
In this regard, he claimed that the US government is willing to end coercion, but the details will be discussed at the conference organized by the Colombian president, in which the participation of the Venezuelan government and nearly 20 countries has already been confirmed.
President Maduro Supports Petro’s International Conference on Venezuela
To emphasize his point, González claimed that the Biden administration has “ended a failed Trump administration policy of trying to impose regime change through sanctions,” while in reality 929 sanctions against Venezuela remain in force, and only three measures have been adjusted to help oil multinationals.
On Thursday, April 20, after his private meeting with Biden, Colombian President Petro said to journalists that he proposed to Biden the progressive lifting of unilateral coercive measures, and discussed the situation surrounding the 2024 presidential elections in Venezuela. He added that Biden had agreed that negotiations should give results in both the cases.
The Venezuelan government suspended the Mexico Talks with the Unitary Platform as a response to US and Venezuelan opposition’s lack of compliance with the agreements reached. The most important issues involve the unfreezing of about $3 billion of the Venezuelan state that was supposed to be put into improving healthcare, emergency response, electricity, and potable water supply in Venezuela.
(La IguanaTV) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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