A closer look at the Venezuelan opposition members who met with Colombian officials
The Venezuelan opposition seeks to resume negotiations with the Maduro regime, but the Chavista dictator has stated that he will not do so until the US lifts some sanction
April 27, 2023 12:17am
Updated: April 27, 2023 12:18am
Representatives of the Venezuelan opposition metin Bogotá this past Tuesday with officials of the Colombian government of Gustavo Petro. Political leaders hope to start a dialogue with Nicolás Maduro's communist regime in search of free elections, after the Chavista dictator has previously refused to resume talks until the United States lifts some of the sanctions imposed on the country.
The meeting took place after years of a political and economic crisis in Venezuela, marked by the repression of political dissent, while opponents have been detained or forced into exile and a massive exodus of migrants, unprecedented at the international level.
The delegation included Gerardo Blyde, a constitutional lawyer and former operator of opposition political formations such as the Democratic Unity Roundtable. Blyde has been a strong defender of the opposition against Nicolás Maduro and was a deputy of the National Assembly and mayor of the Baruta municipality.
Also part of the delegation:
- Claudia Nikken, daughter of the former president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Pedro Nikken and specialist in transitional justice.
- Tomás Guanipa, Secretary General of the Primero Justicia opposition party and former Venezuelan ambassador to Colombia.
- Stalin González, linked to the left before becoming involved in the Generation of 2007, a movement to "end the hegemony of the Chavistas."
- Luis Aquiles Moreno, Deputy Secretary General of Acción Democrática.
- Roberto Enríquez, president of the Christian Democratic Party, Copei.
#Agenda l El Presidente @petrogustavo con delegados internacionales asistieron a la Conferencia Internacional sobre el Proceso Político en Venezuela, en la cual se discute la reactivación del diálogo del Gobierno venezolano con la oposición del país vecino. pic.twitter.com/nCsh4qhDcj— Presidencia Colombia 🇨🇴 (@infopresidencia) April 25, 2023
The meeting is scheduled amid the expulsion from Colombia to the U.S. of former interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, who announced he would participate. The opposition leader has said his family and work team have endured threats against his life.
For its part, the Colombian Foreign Ministry confirmed that it has invited 20 countries to participate in the international conference on Venezuela, which will be attended by the former left-wing guerrilla, Gustavo Petro, to try to unblock the dialogue between Maduro and the anti-Chavista opposition.
Invited countries include Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union.
The Venezuelan opposition hopes that after the meeting, the negotiations with the Maduro regime, suspended in Mexico in 2021, will resume.