Pedro plans to meet with a section of the Venezuelan opposition

BOGOTA (AP) — Colombian President Gustavo Pedro plans to meet with part of the Venezuelan opposition in the coming days ahead of an April 25 international summit in Bogota to discuss political tensions in Venezuela. Opinions within the opposition.

The so-called Unitary Platform, an opposition bloc made up of members of a group that has held intermittent talks with Nicolás Maduro’s representatives in Mexico since 2021, confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that it would attend a meeting with Pedro in Bogotá. No date or time has been released.

In contrast, other opposition leaders who have not confirmed their presence in Bogotá have criticized an international summit organized by Colombia aimed at reviving talks in Mexico that have stalled since last November. Pedro and Maduro said the day before the summit, which they hope will be attended by representatives of 15 Latin American and European countries. Will try to end sanctions against Venezuela.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who until January was the most visible face of the opposition internationally under the guise of an interim government, rejected Pedro’s bid to lift sanctions against Venezuela: “When there is no democracy like Venezuela, all parties are heard. Be a spokesperson for human rights, for those who persecute and imprison the opposition.” Not,” he said in a Twitter message on Tuesday.

Other opposition leaders, such as María Corina Machado, the front-runner for Vente Venezuela, and Delza Solorzano, the front-runner for the opposition Encuentro Ciudadano party, pointed out on the same social network that “it’s the only way to have democracy.” Leaving Maduro and his allies in Venezuela”.

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“This call by President Pedro interferes with the pre-election campaign environment in Venezuela, so many candidates do not want to appear at this time, which could be interpreted as helping Maduro,” Pedro told The Associated Press. Benitez, political analyst and professor at the Central University of Venezuela.

The opposition plans to hold primary elections next October in which they will choose a candidate capable of challenging Maduro in the polls.

Pedro will return to Colombia after meeting U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday to attend a meeting with some Venezuelan opposition leaders, thus canceling his schedule that included meetings with businessmen in Washington on Friday, reporters confirmed on Tuesday. Office of the Presidency of Colombia.

The Unitary Platform explained that the meeting with Pedro will present the “necessary” measures to “recover democracy” in Venezuela through free and verifiable elections in line with international standards. They will also talk about the need to release “political prisoners” in Venezuela and approach the Norwegian-sponsored negotiating agenda in Mexico.

“We hope that the summit called by the Colombian government will help to immediately reactivate the negotiation process in Mexico City,” the group of opposition parties added.

The dialogue in Mexico started in August 2021 and established that the negotiation method “cannot agree on everything”, but opened the possibility of them reaching “partial agreements” as in November last year. Create a fund of approximately $3,000 million to meet social needs, financed with frozen resources from the Venezuelan state as a result of the sanctions.

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Eden Hayes

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