(US Department of State, 26.Nov.2022) — The following statement was released by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honourable Mélanie Joly, and the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly.
We welcome the decision announced today by Venezuelan negotiators to restart the dialogue process in Mexico City. We urge the parties to engage in good faith toward a comprehensive agreement leading to free and fair elections in 2024, the restoration of democratic institutions, and an end to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
We welcome the Mesa Social humanitarian agreement and the willingness of all parties to pursue joint initiatives that will benefit the Venezuelan people and help address their dire humanitarian needs. This agreement provides the template for how further progress can be secured. We are grateful for the work of the United Nations towards this goal.
We believe that participation in the negotiations should be inclusive, diverse, and representative of the Venezuelan population to ensure that an agreement is durable and long-lasting.
We continue to call for the unconditional release of all those unjustly detained for political reasons, the independence of the electoral process and judicial institutions, freedom of expression including for members of the press, and respect for human rights.
We remain committed to supporting the return of democracy in Venezuela and the efforts by Venezuelans to reach their democratic aspirations. In this context, we underline the need for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the 2021 EU Electoral Observation Mission to Venezuela aimed at improving future electoral processes in line with international commitments on democratic elections subscribed by Venezuela.
We will continue to work with our international partners to address the urgent needs of all Venezuelans inside and outside their country.
We are grateful to Norway for their steadfast dedication in facilitating this process, to Mexico for hosting the negotiations, and to Venezuela’s democratic actors whose commitment to finding a negotiated solution to the crisis has been resolute.
We reiterate our willingness to review sanctions policies if the regime makes meaningful progress in the announced talks to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people and bring them closer to a restoration of democracy.