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Negotiations between government and opposition wrap up


Negotiations between government and opposition wrap up


Credit: AFP-JIJI

Discussions between the Venezuelan government and the opposition led by Juan Guaido will conclude today in the Dominican Republic.

Last month’s legislative elections saw government-affiliated parties gain the majority of seats in Congress and Guaido lose the Speaker’s chair, the prior basis for his claim to the presidency. Moreover, the opposition’s unofficial referendum for ousting the government had little effect on further galvanising public support or action.

Whether the fifty countries that recognise Guaido as the legitimate president will continue to do so is now an open question. The EU, for its part, has already switched recognition to Maduro.

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With such little leverage, expect today’s dialogue to end without any significant concessions from Maduro’s government. Vague promises of “legal and electoral guarantees” for the opposition will be agreed to, but these will not deter the government from taking authoritarian actions against political opponents in the future. Although the incoming Biden administration is likely to maintain the previous administration’s petroleum sanctions, there is little indication whether the US will add pressure on the Maduro regime.

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