Representatives of Venezuela’s government and the opposition said they will resume talks next month after a round of preliminary meetings in Mexico City, just as opposition leader Freddy Guevara was released from prison on Sunday.
The talks between the two sides are aimed at overcoming Venezuela’s acute political and economic crisis, which has caused millions to flee the South American nation. Representatives of Norway acted as facilitators.
The two sides, who gave no details on the outcome of the talks that began in Mexico last week, said in a joint statement they would meet again from Sept. 3-6 without saying where.
“We have discussed establishing a consultation mechanism with political and social actors that is as inclusive as possible,” they said in the statement, noting they would show the “utmost caution” before commenting on the process.
For the discussions to reach a potential agreement, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has demanded that sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe on officials and institutions be lifted.
Venezuela says the sanctions are responsible for the OPEC member’s economic crisis.
For its part, the opposition coalition wants humanitarian aid, including vaccines against COVID-19, to enter into Venezuela; the release of dozens of supporters whom it considers “political prisoners”; and guarantees it will be allowed to participate fairly in regional elections in November.
Opposition leader Guevara was released a month after he was arrested by intelligence agents while driving his car on a Caracas highway. Officials later said he was linked to a bout of gang violence in the capital.
Guevara said on Sunday he had been in isolation until some days ago and did not have any further details about his release, according to footage from internet broadcaster VIVOPlay.