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France, Brazil and Colombia Seek to Break Venezuela Deadlock – Bloomberg

  • Meeting with Venezuelan ended without a breakthrough
  • Venezuela negotiations have been stalled since November
(Bloomberg)

Patricia Laya, Bloomberg News

CARACAS
Energiesnet.com 07 18 2023

The presidents of France, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina met with Venezuelan government and opposition negotiators on Monday, in a bid to find a way out of the nation’s political impasse.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of a summit in Brussels in the hopes of finding “long-lasting solutions” to crises in the region, including Venezuela’s, according to a statement from the press office of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The meeting ended without a breakthrough. Following the encounter, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva avoided taking sides and said it was up to Venezuelans to find a solution.

European Union And Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Summit
Attendees including Venezuela VP Delcy Rodríguez pose for an official photo during the European Union (EU) and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, July 17, 2023. (Simon Wohlfahrt/Bloomberg)

Negotiations between the opposition and the government have been stalled since November, with President Nicolás Maduro recently rejecting the participation of EU observers for the 2024 presidential vote, raising further doubts of the possibility of a free and fair vote. Venezuela Vice President Delcy Rodríguez and the head of the opposition’s delegation, Gerardo Blyde, attended the meeting.

Speaking to reporters from Brussels, Colombia’s Gustavo Petro said the meeting was meant to “create an environment that would foster dialogue between different Venezuelan factions to reach a democratic agreement.”

EU leaders are seeking to reboot relations with Latin America in a competition for influence against Russia and China. The EU will help invest over €45 billion ($50.6 billion) in Latin America and the Caribbean until 2027, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said ahead of the two-day summit.

Read more: EU’s Influence Push in Latin America Dented by Ukraine Clash

— With Andreina Itriago Acosta and Ania Nussbaum

bloomberg.com 07 17 2023

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