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Weekly Report - 19 August 2021 (WR-21-33)

VENEZUELA: Dialogue process commences in Mexico

President Nicolás Maduro’s description of opposition leader Juan Guaidó as “the devil” heralded an inauspicious start to the negotiations to resolve Venezuela’s political stalemate. Nonetheless, the ball is now rolling on a dialogue process that potentially holds important rewards for both sides – a lifting of international sanctions remains the government’s most urgent need, whilst the opposition is demanding guarantees of free, fair, and transparent regional and municipal elections in November and the release of all political prisoners. Major doubts remain as to whether compromise can be reached, but the signing of a memorandum of understanding between both sides, as well as some recent shifts in the Maduro administration’s rhetoric, suggest that making headway is not impossible.

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