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Venezuela’s government and opposition groups will restart stalled negotiations, an announcement made shortly after the United States said it would ease sanctions against the South American nation, NBC News reported.
On Tuesday, the Biden administration said it would provide minor sanction relief in exchange for continued dialogue between President Nicolas Maduro’s administration and the opposition.
The move would allow the Chevron Corporation operating in the country to discuss licensing conditions and future concessions with Venezuela’s state-owned oil business.
Still, US officials said that sanctions will remain in place for a group of Venezuelan entities and figures, including the country’s attorney general, the Associated Press added.
Maduro’s government and opposition leaders have been engaged in talks in Mexico to end Venezuela’s long-running political and humanitarian crisis, which has seen some six million people flee the country, according to BBC.
Maduro, however, halted the talks in October in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a close ally of the Venezuelan leader accused of money laundering, to the US.
Meanwhile, the opposition’s main demand is a free and fair presidential election – the next election is scheduled in 2024.
The easing of sanctions follows the Biden administration’s decision this week to remove some restrictions on social, financial and professional contact with Cuba. It also comes two months after senior US officials met with Maduro in Venezuela in an effort to isolate Russia following the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia is one of Venezuela’s closest allies.