In a telephone conversation with the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Jorge Rodriguez, and the representative of the Unitary Platform (PUD), Gerardo Blyde, President Lula’s special advisor, Celso Amorim, reinforced Brazil’s support for the Barbados agreement, signed by Venezuelan dictator, Nicolás Maduro, for free elections through the end of United States embargoes.
In the conversation, despite supporting the agreement, Amorim did not condemn the Venezuelan regime’s persecution of opponents.
“Brazil continues to support the implementation of the Barbados agreements, signed on October 17, 2023, between the Venezuelan government and opposition forces gathered in the Unitary Platform. The agreements, which established parameters for the holding of presidential elections this year, resulted from the dialogue table between the government and opposition mediated by Norway and received support, among others, from Brazil and the USA”, says an excerpt from the Planalto statement released this Friday (5).
The call between Celso Amorim and Venezuelan representatives took place on Friday (2).
In the statement, the government also criticized the sanctions reinstated by the United States against the Venezuelan dictatorship after the Venezuelan Supreme Court confirmed the 15-year disqualification of María Corina Machado, Maduro’s main competitor in the presidential elections scheduled to take place this year.
Political disqualification was considered by the Venezuelan opposition as an “arbitrary and illegal measure to prevent participation in the elections”.
In 2023, Lula and Celso Amorim were in contact with the Venezuelan government to make the agreement happen. Negotiated by Norway, the two countries, along with representatives from other nations, met in Barbados to close the agreement that would allow a kind of truce between Joe Biden and Maduro.
In the so-called Barbados Agreement, signed in October last year, Venezuela agreed to release political prisoners and organize secure democratic elections.
The United States has already committed to easing part of the sanctions imposed on the country. In the wake of these negotiations, the US released Colombian businessman Alex Saab, an important ally of Maduro, in exchange for Venezuelans and Americans detained in Caracas.
With the removal of sanctions, the United States began to negotiate oil, gas and gold purchased from Venezuela, in addition to eliminating the ban on secondary trade from these resources. The agreement was signed by both countries and also by Brazil.