The EU, the US, the United Kingdom and Canada urge the Maduro government and the opposition to reach an agreement for the presidential elections

The European Union
Photo: File

The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada urged Venezuelan negotiators in Mexico City in a joint statement on Saturday to commit “in good faith” towards a comprehensive agreement that leads to “free and fair” elections in 2024.

This process should allow “the restoration of democratic institutions and the end of the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela”, points out the joint declaration signed by the high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Joseph Borrellthe US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and the British, James Cleverly, and Canadian, Mélanie Joly, foreign ministers.

The four reiterated their willingness to review the sanctions policies if the government of Nicolás Maduro achieves “significant progress” in the talks.

The agreement between the Maduro government and the opposition

The government and the opposition signed in Mexico this Saturday the Second Partial Agreement for the Protection of the Venezuelan People whose main objective is the recovery of the country’s State resources blocked in the international financial system.

The agreement signed after resuming the dialogue with the Unitary Platform, which had been formally suspended in October 2021 by decision of the Maduro Executive, establishes that the opposition and the government will have to cooperate in terms of humanitarian expenses, such as the payment of projects of medical care or repair of electrical networks.

Medical care is from $2.7 billion of funds that are currently frozen in international accounts due to US sanctions.

“We welcome the Mesa Social’s humanitarian agreement and the willingness of all parties to undertake joint initiatives that will benefit the Venezuelan people and help address their dire humanitarian needs,” Borrell, Blinken, Cleverly and Joly noted in their joint statement.

All four agreed that “this agreement provides the template for how further progress can be ensured” and thanked the United Nations for the work done to achieve that goal.

Inclusive, diverse and representative

“We believe that participation in the negotiations must be inclusive, diverse and representative of the Venezuelan population to ensure that an agreement is lasting and lasting,” they added.

Even so, the EU, the US, the UK and Canada continue to “demand the unconditional release of all people unjustly detained for political reasons, the independence of the electoral process and judicial institutions, freedom of expression, including for members of the press, and respect for human rights.”

They recalled that they remain committed to supporting the return of democracy in Venezuela and the efforts of Venezuelans to achieve their democratic aspirations.

In this context, they underlined the need for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the EU Electoral Observation Mission in Venezuela in 2021 aimed at improving future electoral processes in line with the international commitments on democratic elections signed by Venezuela.

They recalled that they will continue working with their international partners to meet the urgent needs of all Venezuelans inside and outside their country.

They thanked Norway for its “steadfast” dedication to facilitating this process, Mexico for hosting the negotiations, and the democratic actors in Venezuela whose commitment to finding a negotiated solution to the crisis has been “steadfast.”

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