Venezuela accuses US of kidnapping; negotiations break down
The Venezuelan government and the US-backed opposition started their latest round of negotiations in August, hoping to finally reach a consensus to alleviate the country’s political and economic crisis. However, the talks face a deadlock after a member of the governments negotiating team was arrested and extradited to the US.
The faceoff between the Venezuelan Government's of Nicolas Maduro and the opposition led by Juan Guido has put Caracas in a long political impasse and economic crisis.
Several rounds of talks in recent years have been futile, and the two sides have failed to reach a consensus.
In August, the Venezuelan government and the opposition began a new round of negotiations in Mexico City, aimed at overcoming Venezuela's political and economic crisis. The dialogue was mediated by Norway.
However, the latest developments have hampered the process of a possible settlement. Venezuela's government decided to suspend the talks after Cape Verde extradited a Venezuelan envoy named Alex Saab to the United States on money laundering charges on Saturday.
Saab was arrested in Cape Verde under a US arrest warrant in June 2020 when his plane stopped there to refuel. Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, lashed out at the US for what he called kidnapping of an envoy to face an American court.
Jorge Rodriguez, who heads the Venezuelan government's negotiating team, described the government's decision as a deep expression of protest over the brutal aggression against Alex Saab. He also called on Washington to release Saab immediately.
The US sought Saab in 2019 in connection with a bribery scheme and sanctioned him for allegedly orchestrating a corruption network that allowed Caracas to profit from a state run food subsidy programme.