Nicolás Maduro highlights signing of memorandum with opposition to start dialogue

The agreement was presented during a meeting in Mexico City
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela.

REUTERS/MANAURE QUINTERO  -   Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday hailed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the government and the opposition, during a meeting in Mexico City that marks the start of dialogue between the parties, who are seeking a way out of the country's crisis.

"We welcome the signing of the memorandum of understanding reached between the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Unitary Platform of the Opposition. We thank Mexico and Norway for their efforts for the peace of the Venezuelan people," he wrote on his Twitter account.

He accompanied his message with the hashtag "#LoLogramosEnMéxico", which has been promoted by the government and the ruling party on social networks.

In the document signed today in Mexico, the government delegation, led by the president of the parliament, Jorge Rodríguez, and the opposition delegation, led by former deputy Gerardo Blyde, showed their willingness to "agree on the necessary conditions for the electoral processes to take place". Also that the elections have "all the guarantees and understanding the need for international sanctions to be lifted".

Ciudad de México

The dialogue agenda includes negotiations on "political rights for all", electoral guarantees and an electoral timetable for observable elections, the lifting of sanctions, respect for the constitutional rule of law, as well as political and social coexistence and the renunciation of violence.

Also, reparations for the victims of violence, protection of the national economy and social protection measures for the Venezuelan people, and guarantees for the implementation, follow-up and verification of the agreements.

Shortly after the signing, opposition leader Juan Guaidó warned Maduro in a video posted on his networks that if an agreement is not reached, "the conflict" he believes the country is experiencing "will deepen". "This agreement is with Venezuela, the guarantees are for all Venezuelans, including those who support Maduro today, but we must also say, responsibly, that if they try to avoid an agreement again, the conflict will deepen and the pressure will increase," he said.

El opositor venezolano Juan Guaidó
AFP/FEDERICO PARRA - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó

For his part, two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said he will continue to "promote" agreements that open up spaces for the benefit of citizens. "We have promoted and will continue to promote the opening of spaces to reach agreements for the benefit of Venezuelans who today are crying out for real solutions to the problems they face on a daily basis," he wrote on Twitter.