Advertisement
World

Norway says it will host Venezuela mediation again next week

Venezuela's opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, center, poses for a selfie photo with supporters after a meeting of "Plan Pais" or Country Plan at University Catholic Andres Bello in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, May 24, 2019.
Venezuela's opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, center, poses for a selfie photo with supporters after a meeting of "Plan Pais" or Country Plan at University Catholic Andres Bello in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, May 24, 2019. AP Photo/Fernando Llano

Representatives of the Venezuelan government and opposition have decided to return to Norway for a mediation effort aimed at resolving the political crisis in the South American country, the Norwegian government said Saturday.

READ MORE: U.S. Senate committee passes bill to deal with crisis in Venezuela

Norway said it will facilitate discussions next week in Oslo, in an indication that the negotiation track is gaining momentum after months of escalating tension between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

The government delegation includes Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza as well as the information minister, Jorge Rodríguez, and Héctor Rodríguez, the governor of Venezuela’s Miranda state, and Larry Davoe, said a government official who was not authorized to speak to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Opposition representatives are Stalin González, a senior member of the opposition-controlled congress, Fernando Martínez Mottola, Vicente Diaz and Gerardo Blyde, according to a person who met with the delegation before it headed to Oslo on Saturday.

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH: Why the West has been paying attention to Venezuela

Why the West has been paying attention to Venezuela
Why the West has been paying attention to Venezuela

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide praised both sides for their involvement.

Representatives of Venezuela’s political factions travelled to the European country earlier this month for talks, but it had been unclear if they would continue to engage with one another amid increased tensions over the opposition’s call for a military uprising on April 30.

The opposition had previously ruled out talks, accusing Maduro of using negotiations between 2016 and 2018 to play for time, and has demanded Maduro’s resignation and early elections. Maduro, in turn, alleges the opposition tried to seize power by force.

READ MORE: Chaos in the streets as Venezuela’s Guaido launches military uprising to oust Maduro

The diplomatic effort reflects recognition in Venezuela that neither side has been able to prevail in the struggle for power, leaving the country in a state of political paralysis after years of hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine. Several million Venezuelans have left the country, creating Latin America’s biggest migration crisis.

The United States and more than 50 other countries support Guaidó’s claim to be Venezuela’s rightful leader. The U.S. has imposed oil sanctions to try to force out Maduro, whose key allies are Cuba, Russia and China.

Norway has a long, successful history of foreign mediation: The country hosted peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in September 1993 and Maoist rebels and the government in the Philippines in 2011. The government also brokered a 2002 cease-fire between Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebel negotiators. Seven years ago, mediators from the Colombian government and left-wing FARC rebels held their first direct talks in a decade in Norway.

Story continues below advertisement
Global News Redesign Global News Redesign
A fresh new look for Global News is here, tell us what you think
Take a Survey

Sponsored Stories