Can the Venezuelan negotiations be revived?

Exploring the stalled Venezuela negotiations, international sanctions, the upcoming 2024 presidential elections, and a potential – although uncertain – path forward.

Research event, Panel Recording
8 June 2023 — 4:00PM TO 5:00PM

Can the Venezuelan negotiations be revived?

In May 2023, Chatham House convened a meeting of diplomats and representatives from civil society, the private sector, and Venezuela’s opposition to discuss: human rights accountability and transitional justice; the conditions and steps for free and fair elections in 2024 and 2025 and opposition primaries; sanctions on the Venezuelan economy and PDVSA; and access to funds for humanitarian assistance.

The meeting produced this short summary statement.

One week before the Chatham House workshop, President Gustavo Petro of Colombia convened 20 governments in Bogotá for an international conference on Venezuela’s political process.

The final declaration from that conference highlighted the need to establish an electoral calendar and conditions for free and transparent elections, the lifting of sanctions in parallel to agreed steps among the parties, and the continuation of the negotiations in Mexico between Venezuela’s opposition and government.

What has happened since? Panellists consider:

  • What is the status of the negotiations in Mexico, and what is necessary to get them back on track?
  • Has the US pledge to support the transfer of frozen assets to the promised humanitarian account helped moved the process forward?
  • What is the role of human rights considerations in the negotiations and any potential resolution?
  • Has there been any movement by the Venezuelan government in naming a date of the elections or requesting a European Union (EU) pre-election monitoring mission to follow up on its 2021 report? 
  • What effect are specific sanctions having on US and international interests and the links to political progress in the negotiations?

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