The government of Nicholas Maduro He has demanded the departure of Norway as a facilitator of the dialogue process with the Venezuelan opposition in order to resume talks in Mexico in the coming days, four sources with knowledge of the rapprochement told Reuters.

Last week, delegations from both sides announced their willingness to resume political dialogue in Mexico, while Washington eases some sanctions against the oil country, seeking to pave the way for negotiations, but the parties have not yet formally announced a date for return.

The meeting in Mexico is scheduled for the first or second week of June, two sources with knowledge of the negotiations said.

Neither the Maduro government nor the opposition immediately responded to requests for information from Reuters.

Since the dialogue process was resumed in the Mexican capital in the middle of last year, Norway has served as a facilitator. Although a number of countries – including Russia – were proposed as “accompaniers”, their presence was never formalized.

However, for the Venezuelan opposition delegation, led by former deputy Gerardo Blyde, the departure of the Norwegians does not seem to be an option.

The Norwegians are our only guarantee that things will go well,” said a source from the opposition delegation who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak.

Norway has played a leading role in conflict resolution in Latin America and the world. The European country was present at the talks that sealed the peace between the Colombian government and the guerrillas of the FARCending the longest armed conflict in the Americas in 2016.

Two of the sources consulted by Reuters assured that the Maduro government is pressing for Russia to be the guarantor of the dialogue process. Russia is a close ally of Caracas.

Neither the Russian embassy in Caracas nor the White House responded to requests for information from Reuters.

Washington strongly encourages talks this time, especially since a high-level government delegation visited Caracas in March to meet with Maduro and Venezuelan officials on the need to resume negotiations for elections, the release of political prisoners and a long series of other demands. .

The possible return of Venezuelan oil barrels to the United States, once its favored market, was also discussed in March, followed by an authorization for US producer Chevron – granted last week – to enter into talks with the Maduro administration.

However, the government of President Joe Biden he has been emphatic in assuring that any easing of sanctions will only be possible after palpable results of the dialogue.

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