The head of the Venezuelan Parliament, Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president by more than 50 countries, confirmed on Thursday that the opposition has sent several people to Norway for a possible negotiation with the government of Nicolas Maduro, although he clarified that it should lead to the departure of the ruler.
The government of Nicolás Maduro and sectors of the Venezuelan opposition have resumed contacts in Cuba and Norway, where the two teams are currently located, with the purpose of exploring the possibility of resuscitating the dialogue that sank a year ago and thus settling the political crisis.
Reuters reported on Wednesday, quoting four sources, that government and opposition representatives had travelled to Oslo and, until then, had maintained separate contacts with Norwegian interlocutors with a view to a possible dialogue. The Norwegian public television, NRK, said on Thursday that Cuba was the first scene of these contacts and that this is the second time that the parties have come to Norway. According to sources consulted by NRK, the talks began days ago in a “secret place” in Oslo.
The government representatives are Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Miranda Governor Hector Rodriguez, according to Reuters and NRK. Maduro himself confirmed Wednesday that the government spokesman is out of Venezuela on “a very important mission,” although he did not give details.
On the other hand, both media point out, are the second vice-president of the National Assembly, Stalin González, of the political party Un Nuevo Tiempo, integrated in the opposition coalition Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD); Gerardo Blyde, former deputy and former mayor; and Fernando Martínez Mottola, former minister of the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez.
“I don’t think I can comment on anything,” said Per Wiggen, Norwegian Foreign Ministry communications advisor to VG. However, NRK sources assure that the diplomacy of the Nordic nation is involved and that it would have the blessing of the United States.
“Norway follows the situation in Venezuela with great concern. We strongly encourage the parties to find a political and peaceful solution to avoid an escalation of tension”, told a Norwegian diplomatic spokeswoman. Norway has apparently offered to mediate. The Nordic country was one of the guarantors of the peace process between 2012 and 2016 between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Cuba, which ended successfully.
From Maduro’s government, the confirmation has arrived through the mouth of the Venezuelan ambassador at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Jorge Valero. “I can confirm that there are dialogues”, he said in statements to the press. Valero has stressed that they are with the “democratic” part of the opposition, not with the “puppets” of the United States.