WASHINGTON DC – US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said on Friday that he is not planning any talks about Venezuela with his Russian counterparts.
“Not now,” Abrams said when asked if he was planning any conversation about Venezuela with Russian officials. “We’ve done it a few times,” he added.
Abrams spoke after a press conference at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington in which he and OAS officials criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro for human rights abuses, pointed out in a recent UN report.
During the briefing, the US special envoy said he planned to call Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó on Friday.
On Thursday, the government and the Venezuelan opposition agreed to hold a permanent peace dialogue as a result of three-day talks in Barbados, said Hector Rodriguez, the governor of Miranda state in Venezuela during a broadcast.
Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro sent a message to the Venezuelans asking them to work on the basis of national dialogue to overcome the crisis faced by that nation.
“Those of us who believe in democratic values, always fight for the right to freedom, tranquility and development of the Venezuelan people, I reiterate my call for peace and unity of all sectors of national life,” the president said in message posted on Twitter.
The president gave a speech on 11 July in which he assured that the opposition delegations and the government had succeeded in establishing a permanent dialogue table with the mediation of Norway in Barbados after three days of talks.
“After three days of an intense day of dialogue with the Venezuelan opposition , we agreed to establish a permanent forum for dialogue, I thank the Norwegian Government for its willingness and express my absolute faith that we will soon reach a great agreement for peace and coexistence,” said the president.
The Norwegian government said earlier in a statement that the dialogue continues and that the delegations have returned to Caracas.
The two sides are meeting in Barbados since Monday in the third round of negotiations, which began on May 14 in Oslo.
Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez said the day in Barbados had been a success and thanked the country’s prime minister, Mia Mottley, “for his hospitality.”
Maduro had said days ago that the delegations worked on six points where “there is the vision of the whole country, the needs and issues of national necessity: economic, social, cultural, political and of all kinds.”
The contacts held in Norway marked the first rapprochement between the two parties since the most recent political crisis , which broke out in January after Maduro’s inauguration for 2019-2025 and the self-proclamation of opposition deputy Juan Guaidó as “interim president” .
Venezuela is undergoing a political-economic crisis that intensified in January after Guaidó proclaimed himself interim president of the country. The United States soon began imposing sanctions on Venezuela and froze billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets.
Maduro called Guaidó a puppet from the United States and accused Washington of orchestrating a coup in Venezuela to force a change of government and claim the vast natural resources of the country.