Venezuelan government and opposition delegations are talking about progress in their talks

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Venezuelan opposition President Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition announced Thursday that the two sides had made progress in their talks in Barbados aimed at resolving the political crisis in Venezuela.

After four days of discussions on the island in the Caribbean, both parties indicated in separate statements that negotiations were continuing, without specifying whether the current negotiating session had ended.

The parties pledged to keep the content of these discussions brokered by Norway.

Earlier in the day, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry announced that the two sides “continue the negotiations that began in Oslo” last May “actively”.

“We stress that the parties should exercise utmost caution in their comments and statements on the” negotiations “in accordance with established rules, the Norwegian ministry said in a statement.

“We continue the dialogues, and we confirm our full respect for the rules set,” Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez, head of the delegation sent by Maduro, wrote on his Twitter account, calling on everyone to “protect this negotiating effort among Venezuelans.”

“We support the message of the Norwegian government, we continue to move forward to search for an end to the suffering of our people and to choose our future freely,” said Representative Stalin Gonzalez, the opposition’s representative in the discussions on Twitter.

Gonzales is the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaido, who was elected president in January and has been recognized by some 50 countries, led by the United States.

– “Secrecy” –

In its statement, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry stressed that “in the interest of the negotiations”, the parties must have “the necessary space to progress in a constructive atmosphere,” stressing that “the confidentiality of the process must be respected by all.”

The European Union, which supports Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guido, vowed on Tuesday to impose new sanctions on the Maduro authorities if the current negotiations do not lead to a “concrete result”.

Guido welcomed the intervention, which Maduro rejected, in which he saw a desire to “block” talks aimed at reaching a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the crisis.

After preliminary contacts and the first meeting in mid-May in Oslo, the talks resumed in Barbados on July 8.

The opposition asserts that the aim of the negotiations is to bring Maduro out of power and hold new elections. It sees the new mandate launched by the president in January as illegitimate because it resulted from a rigged presidential election.

But Nicolas Maduro categorically refuses to resign. He believes that elections among Venezuelans should lead to “democratic coexistence” between the authority he leads and the opposition.

He calls for an end to what he sees as the “opposition tendency to coup” and plans he owns, he said, the United States to seize the oil reserves of Venezuela, the largest in the world.

Venezuela sank in January in a major political crisis after Guido accused President Maduro of raping power after winning a new presidential term in a largely fraudulent election.

Venezuela is suffering from an economic recession and a humanitarian crisis that has made a quarter of its 30 million people in dire need of aid, according to the United Nations.

The United Nations says more than 2.7 million people have left the country since 2015.

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