As talks between representatives of Venezuela's government and opposition convene in the capital of the Dominican Republic, the country's communications minister said there should be "economic guarantees" as part of the talks.
"We demand that the economic guarantees be fulfilled in Venezuela," said Jorge Rodriguez from a press scrum in Santo Domingo, referring to the government's insistence for opposition leaders to call on Washington to drop sanctions placed on the country.
In August, the Trump administration placed further sanctions on the South American nation, specifically targeting Venezuela's state oil firm and the country's ability to accrue debt.
Despite the opposition's previous refusal for talks, government representatives were hopeful that this round of dialogue would be "fruitvul."
"We hope that these two days of meetings will draw conclusions and positive results," Rodriguez said.
Delegations representing the Venezuelan government and the country’s opposition are resuming dialogue in the Dominican Republic. The talks, mediated by Dominican officials, are intended to foster coexistence and peace.
“We hope that we can get something important for the people of Venezuela," Dominican President Danilo Medina said.
For his part, Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas said that both the Venezuelan government and the opposition “have shown goodwill in order for this process to move forward.”
“We hope that the discussions will culminate in a satisfactory manner, for the good of the Venezuelan people,” Vargas added.
Dialogue sessions include representatives from countries accompanying both sides.
Representatives from Chile, Mexico and Paraguay are observing the talks at the request of the opposition. Meanwhile, officials from Bolivia, Nicaragua and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are participating at the request of the government.
This round of dialogue, which will run throughout the weekend, has a six-point agenda agreed upon by both sides. The agenda was confirmed during a preparatory meeting on Nov. 16 in the Dominican Republic.
The government delegation will be chaired by Minister for Communication and Information Jorge Rodriguez. He is set to be accompanied by National Constituent Assembly President Delcy Rodriguez and former Vice President Elias Jaua.
The opposition Democratic Unity Table will attend the dialogue with a delegation chaired by National Assembly President Julio Borges. Representatives of opposition-aligned economic sectors and civil society will also be present.
Since 2013, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has made 338 calls for dialogue and peace. This year alone, he has made 269 invitations to the Venezuelan opposition to find a solution to the problems, through permanent dialogue and the establishment of a minimum agreement of coexistence.