CARACAS (Reuters) – A delegation from the Norwegian government has come to Venezuela to restart talks between the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition that were halted last week after Maduro’s allies pulled out, four sources familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.
Maduro last week said the government would not attend a scheduled round of talks in Barbados to protest the opposition’s support for new U.S. sanctions against his government.
The Norwegian delegation arrived on Tuesday to speak separately with the opposition and the government to restart the proceedings, which are meant to resolve the country’s political stalemate, two of the sources said.
Neither Venezuela’s Information Ministry nor the Norwegian Foreign Ministry responded to requests for comment.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival interim presidency on the grounds that Maduro’s 2018 re-election was fraudulent and has promised to end an economic crisis that spurred mass migration.
Guaido, who has been recognised by more than 50 countries including the United States as Venezuela’s legitimate president, described the new Washington sanctions as “penalties for those who steal and profit from misery.”
Maduro calls Guaido a Washington-backed puppet who is seeking to overthrow his government.
The Norway-backed talks began in May following a failed uprising against Maduro but have not yet yielded any official results.
(Reporting by Mayela Armas, Vivian Sequera and Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Bill Trott)