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Release of frozen funds: Government and opposition in Venezuela agree on humanitarian cooperation

2022-11-27T07:44:43.019Z

The country is in a deep crisis under authoritarian President Maduro. Now the government and opposition have signed a partial agreement. The US reacted promptly.



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Maduro in a meeting with the Prime Minister of Belize in late November 2022

Photo: LEONARDO FERNANDEZ VILORIA / REUTERS

Venezuela's government and the opposition have resumed talks after a year and agreed on humanitarian cooperation.

Representatives of both sides signed a corresponding partial agreement in front of journalists in Mexico City on Saturday.

The warring parties have agreed, for example, on a joint application to the United Nations for the release of frozen state assets.

The frozen funds lying in foreign banks are said to be around three billion dollars, according to information provided to the Reuters news agency.

Before the talks in Mexico, Socialist President Nicolás Maduro had said the aim was to recover "kidnapped" money.

After that you can talk about other questions.

The money is to be used, among other things, to repair the country's power grid and improve schools and universities.

In addition, the consequences of devastating rains and floods are to be reduced.

Venezuela, ruled authoritarian by Maduro, has been in a deep political, economic and humanitarian crisis for years.

According to United Nations estimates, more than seven million Venezuelans left their country this year to escape poverty, high inflation and food shortages.

Sanctions lifted against Chevron

Immediately after the agreement between the government and the opposition, the US government announced that it would ease restrictions on the US oil company Chevron in Venezuela.

The US Treasury Department allowed the company to import oil from Venezuela again.

The US government had banned imports as part of sanctions against the socialist-ruled country.

A senior US official said on a phone call to journalists that the Treasury Department had given Chevron a temporary permit allowing the US company to resume limited mineral exploration in the South American country.

The US government reserves the right to withdraw the easing at any time if Venezuela's head of state Maduro does not negotiate in good faith or does not keep to promises.

In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of the USA, Great Britain and Canada and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell welcomed the resumption of dialogue and the humanitarian agreement.

"We call on the parties to work in good faith for a comprehensive agreement that will lead to free and fair elections in 2024, the restoration of democratic institutions and an end to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela," it said.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president in early 2019 and tried to force Maduro out of office.

Last year, a dialogue was initiated in Mexico with the mediation of Norway, but the government broke it off again after two months in October.

The reason was the extradition of a confidant of Maduro to the United States.

The US and dozens of other states like Germany did not recognize President Maduro's re-election in 2018.

With the support of Russia, Cuba, China and Iran, Maduro has so far been able to stay in office.

With the sanctions, the US wants to force free and fair presidential elections in 2024.

jme/dpa/Reuters

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-11-27

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