BARBADOS-Venezuela government and opposition officials to hold talks in Barbados

Browne and Nicholas Maduro

Norway has confirmed that Venezuela government and opposition representatives will meet here this week as part of the ongoing efforts to find a solution to the economic and political crisis in the South American country.

Norway’s Foreign Ministry, which is acting as a mediator, issued a statement on Sunday confirming that talks will start “this week” in Barbados.

The Ministry gave no specific date for the start of the third round of talks between the parties.

President Nicolas Maduro and Opposition Leader Juan Guaido (File Photo)

It a statement, it said that the parties will now meet to continue work on finding a negotiated and constitutional solution, as “quickly as possible”.

“Norway reiterates its recognition of the parties for their efforts and willingness to cooperate,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said.

Opposition Leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself interim president, is seeking the removal of President Nicolas Maduro from office. Guaido is backed by the United States and several other western countries, while Russia, China, and Cuba are among countries backing Maduro, who was sworn into office for a second consecutive term earlier this year.

Norway has joined in the efforts for a peaceful resolution to the crisis that has resulted in thousands of Venezuelans feeling the homeland in the past few months.

Trinidad and Tobago recently ended a registration process providing at least a one year amnesty for the Venezuelans to live and work in the oil-rich twin island republic.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders who have in the past adopted a position of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of the South American country, last week re-affirmed that position during their annual summit held in St. Lucia.

The communique issued after the summit noted that the regional leaders had received an update on the situation in Venezuela and CARICOM’s mediation-related activities, carried out by their High-Level Representatives.

“They reiterated the importance of resolving the crisis peacefully through dialogue between the parties,” and “agreed that mediation-related activities would be continued to be pursued by the Prime Ministers (St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago) “ who were designated as the Caribbean’s main negotiators.

The regional leaders, who met with Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, also “expressed support for the facilitation process being carried out by Norway with both sides of the dispute”.

The European Union’s special adviser on Venezuela, Enrique Iglesias, is set to visit the Caracas this week.

Late last month, the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Michelle Bachelet, left Caracas after urging the Maduro government to release all those detained for peacefully protesting and announcing that a team from her office would remain in Caracas to monitor the human rights situation.

Bachelet had visited the beleaguered South American country at the invitation of the Venezuelan government after having  expressed deep concern in an address to the Human Rights Council in March, over the country’s “dramatically” deteriorating rights situation overall, and the “continued criminalization of peaceful protest and dissent”.

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  1. Antigua News Room:
    Why did you place a picture of Gaston Browne and Maduro in this story.When Gaston has not one darn thing to do with this story.Are you guys and gals water carriers for Gaston Browne?

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