CARACAS – Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that conditions were favorable for an agreement between the government and the opposition after the latest round of negotiations in the Dominican Republic that began in December.
Maduro met with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Caracas after the latest round of talks in Santo Domingo.
“All the voices that are ready to collaborate in strengthening the democratic dialogue are welcome. Everything is in place for signing an agreement with the opposition,” Maduro wrote on Twitter, accompanied by a photo of him alongside Zapatero, who is acting as a mediator in the dialogue.
The meeting was also attended by the president of the National Constitutional Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez, and Venezuela’s first lady, Cilia Flores.
Talks between Maduro’s government and the opposition formally started on Dec. 1 in the Dominican Republic, and after a series meetings attended by foreign ministers of Chile, Mexico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Nicaragua, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic, any potential agreement was scheduled to be signed on Monday.
Authorities in Santo Domingo said that they had yet to receive a response from the Venezuelan government and the opposition.
One of the requests the government has made is for the opposition to recognize the NCA, a legislative body made up of pro-government deputies whose foundation was marred by accusations of fraud. Polls held to elect deputies to the NCA were boycotted by the opposition.
The government also wants sanctions imposed on high-level Venezuelan officials to be lifted.
The opposition wants a complete overhaul of the National Electoral Council, the release of political prisoners, the opening of a humanitarian channel to supply medicine and food, and to restore full powers to parliament, where it holds a majority.