Venezuela, Opposition Will Restart Talks, US Could Ease Sanctions

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(Reuters, 16.Oct.2023) — Venezuela’s government and the country’s opposition will return to political negotiations, the two sides said on Monday, while sources said the United States has reached a preliminary deal to ease sanctions if President Nicolas Maduro follows through on a commitments related to a 2024 election.

Maduro’s representatives and the opposition are expected to sign an election agreement this week, and the U.S. will quickly follow that with a revised license related to Venezuela’s oil business, according to two people in Washington familiar with the matter.

The return to talks was announced in a statement published by Norway, an observer of the talks, which are meant to provide a way out of Venezuela’s long-running political and economic crisis.

The opposition is set to hold a primary to choose its 2024 candidate on Sunday. Maduro is expected to run for re-election but has not yet formalized his candidacy.

Oil futures fell on Monday on reports of the potential sanctions easing, while investors continued to mull the potential impact of the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict on oil prices.

Reuters reported last week, citing five sources, that Venezuela and the U.S. had progressed in talks that could allow at least one additional foreign oil firm to take Venezuelan crude oil for debt repayment if Maduro resumed negotiations with the opposition.


Reporting by Mayela Armas in Caracas, Matt Spetalnick in Washington and Marianna Parraga in Houston Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb

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