Venezuela deal opens way for oil giant's return - RTHK
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Venezuela deal opens way for oil giant's return

2022-11-27 HKT 09:32
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  • Delegates and sponsors of the peace talks applaud the signing of the deal in Mexico City. Photo: AP
    Delegates and sponsors of the peace talks applaud the signing of the deal in Mexico City. Photo: AP
The government of Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition broke a political stalemate on Saturday with a broad social accord, and the US government responded by allowing a major US oil company to resume operations in Venezuela.

The accord heralded a potential easing of a grinding economic and political crisis in Venezuela.

It paves the way for the United Nations to oversee a trust fund of frozen assets of the Maduro government to be used for a variety of social projects in the South American country.

"We have identified a set of resources belonging to the Venezuelan state, frozen in the global financial system, to which it is possible to access," said Dag Nylander, an envoy from Norway, which facilitated the negotiations.

Delegates from both sides agreed to make all efforts to "obtain the legitimate funds of the Republic which are frozen in the international financial system" and use them for social projects.

The accord does not specify the amount to be released, but Jorge Rodriguez, head of the Maduro government delegation, said the agreement will recover US$3 billion of more than US$20 billion in blocked money.

The agreement, which ended 15 months of stalemate between the two sides, potentially could ease a massive flow of refugees from Venezuela throughout the region, and even impact world oil markets.

The accord represents "hope for all of Latin America," said Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, a sponsor of the talks.

The humanitarian agreement calls for a yet-to-be-established UN trust to finance programmes related to education, health, food security, flood response and electricity.

However, Saturday's accord made no headway on a critical issue: How to move ahead toward presidential elections scheduled for 2024. (AFP)