Caracas / Praia-Venezuela announced on Saturday that it would suspend negotiations with the opposition, which was scheduled to resume this weekend.
The announcement was made by Socialist Party member Jorge Rodriguez, who heads the Maduro administration’s negotiation team. Rodriguez said the Venezuelan government will begin talks on Sunday after Cape Verde expels Colombian businessman Alex Saab, a Venezuelan envoy near Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, to the United States for money laundering. He said he would not attend.
In September, the Maduro administration team negotiated with Saab, who was arrested in June 2020 when a plane stopped to refuel in Carbo Verde, with Mexican opposition parties seeking to resolve the political crisis. Nominated as a member. ..
Rodriguez read the statement and called the decision to suspend negotiations “a brutal attack on humans and our deepest protest against the investigation of our representative Alex Serve Moran.”
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó condemned the decision.
“With this irresponsible outage of their aid in Mexico, they again avoid urgent attention to countries currently suffering from 76.6 percent extreme poverty,” he said on Twitter. Guaidó said he would continue to insist on finding a solution to the country’s crisis.
Hours after Saab’s delivery, Venezuela canceled the arrest of six former executives of refiner Citgo, a US subsidiary of state-owned oil company PDVSA. Two sources who knew the situation and their families told Reuters.
The US Department of Justice has indicted Saab in 2019 in connection with a bribery scheme to take advantage of Venezuela’s state-owned exchange rates. The United States also sanctioned Saab and Maduro for organizing a corruption network that allowed them to benefit from state-owned food subsidy programs.
Saab’s lawyers call the US accusation a “political motivation.”
In a Twitter post, Colombian President Ivan Duque called Saab’s delivery “a victory in the fight against drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption by Nicolas Maduro’s dictator.”
Cape Verde National Radio reported the surrender on Saturday. The Cape Verde government was unable to comment immediately.
The US Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Americans are not “negotiation chips”
A former Citgo executive arrested in November 2017 after being summoned to a meeting at PDVSA headquarters in Caracas was taken from his home to one of the intelligence police headquarters, two sources said Saturday.
Six former executives were released from prison and put under house arrest in April.
This group consists of five naturalized US citizens and one permanent resident. The US government has repeatedly demanded their release.
“My dad can’t be used as a tip for negotiations,” said Cristina Vadell, daughter of former executive Tomeu Vadel. “Given the case of the national coronavirus, his health is even more worrisome.”
The Ministry of Communications and the Attorney General’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Epoch Times contributed to this report.