February 5, 2023

The Government of Venezuela and the opposition sign a humanitarian agreement

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(CNN) — Delegations of the Government of Venezuela and the opposition signed an agreement requesting the United Nations (UN) to manage an international aid fund. The two delegations signed the agreement this Saturday morning in a ceremony held in Mexico City.

The agreement, which comes after years of political struggle between the two parties, was brokered by Norway with the support of Mexico and the United States.

Under the terms of the agreement, Venezuela’s foreign reserves will be invested in the creation of a humanitarian fund to import food and medical equipment into the country. The fund will be managed by UN officials and a joint committee of 10 Venezuelan representatives and a representative of the Norwegian foreign ministry that will oversee spending.

The agreement did not specify when the fund would be created, but does specify how it will function over the next three years.

On Saturday, the United States granted Chevron limited authorization to resume oil extraction from Venezuela following the announcement and, in news, the two sides will continue to negotiate a solution to the country’s economic and political crisis, including a focus on the elections 2024.

Venezuela has been in a deep economic crisis since 2014 due to chronic mismanagement and a collapse in the price of crude oil, Venezuela’s main export.

In 2019, the crisis escalated into an institutional conflict between the two leaders claiming the country’s presidency, Venezuela’s current leader Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Although Guaidó’s presidency was recognized by more than 50 countries around the world, including the United States, Maduro maintained control over the country’s institutions and the Armed Forces.

A revival in oil prices, liberalization reforms, and an informal dollarization of Venezuela’s economy have alleviated the economic crisis in recent months.

However, more than 80% of Venezuelans still live below the poverty line according to an independent survey conducted by the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas.

More than seven million Venezuelans live abroad due to the country’s crisis, according to the UN.

Leslie Bentz in Washington contributed to this report.



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