Jan 29, 2023
Venezuela Opposition Starts Talks for Funds With Spain Meeting
(Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan opposition representatives met with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares at the start of a tour through Europe, as they seek to unlock frozen funds to finance a humanitarian deal with the government.
“We’ve exchanged views on Venezuela’s dialog process,” Albares said in a tweet, following Sunday morning’s meeting in Madrid. “Spain supports these talks.”
The Venezuelan government has accused the opposition of not complying with a humanitarian agreement signed in November and has said it won’t move on with political discussions until that agreement is implemented. Among the pending discussions are electoral guarantees ahead of the 2024 presidential elections.
The opposition delegation began a tour this week in Europe to find the money, and is seeking to transfer it to a fund that will be administered by the United Nations. The fund is meant to finance the country’s failing utilities and healthcare and education systems.
The four members of the opposition delegation who attended the meeting with Albares are also seeking to meet foreign affairs officials in Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris, where they expect to end the tour Friday, according to people with direct knowledge of their agenda.
The head of the opposition’s delegation, Gerardo Blyde, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Jan. 20, Blyde said they would discuss the frozen funds during in-person meetings in the countries that might hold them, while they sought to speed up the implementation of the humanitarian agreement and continue with the political negotiations.
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