At the start of the talks to build a way out of the political conflict in Venezuela, the government of Nicolás Maduro protested the participation of Carlos Vecchio, Juan Guaidó’s ambassador in Washington, sources close to the negotiators confirmed.
Aides of the opposition delegation pointed out to Political Animal that chavismo representatives objected for weeks to Veccio’s presence at the negotiating table, although they finally agreed.
For this reason, they added, it was surprising that this Friday, at the beginning of the talks that Mexico is hosting, the Venezuelan government delegation –led by Deputy Jorge Rodriguez Gomez, president of the National Assembly– took up the same demand.
The protest by the ruling party has delayed the formal start of the negotiations, which had been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the Museum of Anthropology.
#EnVivo | “Inauguration of the negotiation and dialogue process of Venezuela”. https://t.co/YcyhUNKYa8
— Foreign Relations (@SRE_mx) August 13, 2021
Sources in the opposition delegation charged that Maduro’s representation insists on vetoing Vecchio, who is acting as ambassador of an “interim government” that has been unknown to maduro’s administration.
“The regime has permanently objected since the beginning of the process to the name of the ambassador (Vecchio), because of his firm democratic positions. This has been raised repeatedly, in violation of the agreed rules of impossibility of veto. Today they insist on it and the response of our mission, and of the ambassador himself, is that the ambassador remains in the negotiating team as a representative of Voluntad Popular and the interim government of President Juan Guaidó,” said a source close to the negotiation.
On Friday, a series of dialogues began in Mexico that seek to build an understanding between the Maduro government and opposition groups, as well as sign agreements that ultimately lead to the holding of free and democratic elections in the Bolivarian country.
The meeting on August 13 will be headed by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and diplomat Day Nylander, an emissary from Norway, a country that will act as mediator in what is considered a peace process.
Chavismo is represented by Deputy Rodriguez Gomez, while the opposition will be represented by Gerardo Blyde, a member of the Democratic Unity Table (MUD); Stalin González, close to Capriles, and Vecchio, named Guaidó’s ambassador.
This is not the first time that maduro’s government has agreed to engage in a dialogue with political groups opposed to the ruling party. In 2019, Norway led a negotiation process in Barbados; earlier, between 2017 and 2018, there was another attempted resolution based in the Dominican Republic. Both efforts ended without success.
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