The Venezuelan government and the US-backed opposition began their final round of negotiations in August, hoping to finally reach a consensus to ease the country.he is political and economic crisis. However, the talks face an impasse after a member of the governmentS’s negotiating team was arrested and extradited to the United States..
The clash between the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition led by Juan Guido has put Caracas in a long political impasse and in an economic crisis.
Several rounds of talks in recent years have been futile and the two sides have failed to reach a consensus.
In August, the Venezuelan government and the opposition launched a new round of negotiations in Mexico City, with the aim of overcoming Venezuela’s political and economic crisis. The dialogue was mediated by Norway.
However, recent events have hampered the process of a possible agreement. The Venezuelan government decided to suspend the talks after Cape Verde extradited a Venezuelan envoy named Alex Saab to the United States on charges of money laundering.
Saab was arrested in Cape Verde under a US arrest warrant in June 2020 when his plane stopped there to refuel. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro lashed out at the United States for what he called the kidnapping of an envoy to face a US court.
Saab was taken yesterday, bypassing everything. A plane has arrived, assassins have come down, assassins have come down. They searched for him and beat him out of the prison where he was being held.
They took him away without notifying the lawyers, the family, anyone; a kidnapping by the United States government of an international diplomat.
Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela
Jorge Rodríguez, head of the Venezuelan government’s negotiating team, described the government’s decision as a profound expression of protest at the brutal aggression against Alex Saab. He also called on Washington to release Saab immediately.
Venezuela warns the world that the life of Alex SAAB is in danger, he is in the hands of a judicial system destined to harm Venezuela and we are asking for his immediate release by the United States government.
Jorge Rodríguez, Venezuelan negotiator
The United States registered Saab in 2019 in connection with a corruption scheme and sanctioned it for allegedly orchestrating a corruption ring that allowed Caracas to benefit from a state food subsidy program.
However, lawyers representing Saab have denied the US allegations and say they are politically motivated.
This is absolutely a political attack on Venezuela and it is a kidnapping. This shows the extent to which the United States is willing to go illegally and how determined it is to attack Venezuela.
Sara Flounders, International Action Center
Meanwhile, US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaidó reacted to the decision to suspend the talks by accusing the government of evading the nation’s problems. Caracas aims to ease US sanctions against the nation, while the opposition says it intends to use the talks to secure guarantees for regional elections to be held in the fall.
Venezuela fell into political chaos after a US-backed opposition figure, Juan Guaidó, unilaterally declared himself interim president in January 2019.
He claimed that Maduro’s re-election in 2018 was fraudulent; As a result, the United States refrained from recognizing the reelection of Nicolás Maduro in 2018, imposed sanctions on the crisis-hit economy of the Latin American nation, and froze millions of dollars of Venezuelan money in US bank accounts.
Washington used the sanctions as a lever to topple Maduro’s legitimate government in what has been called economic terrorism.
Venezuela has faced a chronic shortage of food and medicine due to US sanctions, which have resulted in years of political and economic crisis.
Well, this is exactly what the United States government wants to prevent. And this may also be an effort on your part to sabotage the ongoing negotiations in Mexico, but how can the talks continue in this situation?
What must be condemned and denounced is depriving any country of food and medicine, especially at this juncture in which the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing.
Sara Flounders, International Action Center
Asset freezes and the imposition of illegal sanctions on countries that refuse to submit to Washington’s hegemonic policies are nothing new.
The US sanctions have directly targeted the innocent Venezuelan people.
Experts say the sanctions, used as a tool for regime change, have no effect on the stability of the Maduro administration, but further complicate the socioeconomic status of ordinary people amid a full-blown crisis.