February 28, 2024

Maduro celebrates agreement with opposition and calls for an end

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro celebrated a deal signed between the government and the opposition that provides for the release of funds blocked in foreign accounts, and said he hoped U.S. sanctions would already be lifted when the country holds its next presidential election in 2024.

The above was informed in the press conference held today, Wednesday (30). Brazil indeed attended.

“We want free elections…free from sanctions. Do they want free, fair and transparent elections? [Que sejam] “Elections without obstacles, suspend all of them, remove all of them, so that we can have new, beautiful and good elections,” Maduro said.

::What’s Happening in Venezuela::

The representative addressed the opposition group’s demands at the re-established dialogue table in Mexico last Saturday. One of the main claims of the so-called Unitarian Platform, which unites the four main right-wing parties in Venezuela, is the joint definition of the schedule and electoral rules for the next presidential election.

This sector of the opposition has participated in all the coup adventures of the last 20 years. […] They represent a section of the opposition that wants to impose the United States and Europe on Venezuela, which sought regime change, but that effort failed, and we brought them to the electoral path,” Maduro said.

Last Saturday, representatives of the dialogue table signed an agreement, which envisages the release of more than 3 billion US dollars that belong to the Venezuelan government and that are frozen in foreign accounts. According to the document, the amount will be used for social investment in the areas of education, health, electricity and restoration of rain-affected areas.

“We are recovering 3 billion US dollars out of more than 24 billion US dollars blocked. We have already made a detailed plan to invest this money to meet the needs of our people and we will announce this plan anytime soon.” Maduro promised.

::Venezuelan Government and Opposition Announce Agreement to Re-Negotiate and Open Funds::

The president also said government representatives at the negotiating table should demand the withdrawal of Citco, a subsidiary of US state-owned oil company PDVSA. Endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

“The return of Citco is an important element to continue progress in the negotiations, our delegation will demand that Citco return to the hands of the Venezuelan people and that the company’s dividends from the last four years be released for social investment”, said.

In October, a US court ruling again threatened Citco’s existence. The lawsuit is in response to a lawsuit filed by Canadian mining company Crystalex to liquidate the Venezuelan company as compensation for expropriating a mine in Venezuela in 2008 during the government of Hugo Chávez.

“Citco’s creditors are illegal,” Maduro said. “This is extortion, a fraud, the company must return to Venezuela clean, without creditors, and this illegality must be corrected.”

::”Standing verdict”: Venezuela opposes US decision to sell oil firm::

The representative also noted the license issued by the United States hours after the signing of a deal allowing energy company Chevron to return to operating in Venezuela. According to the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, the company can resume production at blending plants it owns, but cannot pay taxes and royalties to PDVSA and the state.

While the company did not provide details on the terms of resuming oil exploration, Maduro said it would benefit both parties.

“I don’t want to be a spokesperson on the Chevron issue, because it’s too technical, I’ll leave it to the Petroleum Ministry. What I can say is that they will be agreements within the framework of the Constitution, and they will win – the agreements will win, Venezuela will win, Chevron will win, the world will win”, he said.

Editing: Thales Schmidt