Negotiations between the Maduro government and the Guaidó-led opposition to explore solutions to Venezuela’s political and humanitarian crisis will reportedly begin in Mexico on August 13. On August 5, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador publicly confirmed for the first time that Mexico had accepted the proposal from the Norwegian government to host talks, though he did not confirm the date and there are still open questions about the agenda. 

The first meeting on August 13 is reportedly to discuss an initial agreement around the terms of the negotiations before committing to more detailed talks later this year. The negotiations will be facilitated by Norway, who oversaw the most recent attempt at talks in 2019, and Bloomberg reports that delegations from Russia and France will serve as guarantors for the two sides, and Argentina and the Netherlands may also join them. While President López Obrador has confirmed that the upcoming talks will take place in Mexico, the specifics of the negotiations will be facilitated by the Norwegian foreign ministry. The government’s negotiating team will include Miranda state Governor Hector Rodríguez and Jorge Rodríguez, President of the National Assembly elected in widely-questioned legislative elections in December 2020, while the opposition’s negotiating team will be led by Gerardo Blyde, who previously represented the opposition in the 2019 Oslo-Barbados talks.

On August 4, Hector Rodríguez confirmed in an interview that negotiations would begin in the coming weeks, and affirmed the Maduro government’s commitment to achieving a democratic solution in which all “renounce violence and hate.” After the Mexican government publicly confirmed that negotiations would take place in Mexico, Juan Guaidó expressed his support on Twitter for efforts to negotiate, stating that Venezuela’s situation is “unsustainable” and sharing a video to promote the ‘National Salvation Agreement’ he proposed in May.

On July 19, WOLA joined the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) in publishing a report highlighting the main lessons learned from previous attempts to negotiate in Venezuela, and the narratives that emerged from the most recent effort to negotiate in 2019 under the mediation of Norway, based on in-depth interviews with members of the Chavista and opposition negotiating teams. The report, titled “Negotiating a Return to Democracy in Venezuela,” offers a series of recommendations for the negotiating teams and the U.S. administration to maximize the potential for success in future processes.




Human Rights