Norway stepped into the fray that is Venezuela this week, when it emerged Oslo was hosting talks between officials from the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition led by self-declared president Juan Guaido.
The talks are the latest attempt to resolve a crisis that has hit a stalemate, following months of street protests, US sanctions and a failed opposition attempt to overthrow Maduro.
Guaido’s UK representative Neumann says there’s a huge support for the opposition leader. “You see the people come out and weep with joy at the sight of Guaido,” she said.
When asked why she thinks the overthrow of Maduro is proving harder than initially thought, Neumann said it was due to the economic power of the military.
“The military is earning $8.8bn a year in illicit trade and the trafficking of narcotics, the trafficking of gold, diesel, even food. Even the very food that people are eating, because they have demolished the production economy. That is also being used by the regime. And to exert social control,” she said.
When asked whether Guaido wants the US military to intervene, Neumann said it was Guaido’s decision.
When pressed on whether US military involvement, considering its legacy in the region, would bring democracy or human rights to Venezuela, Neumann argued that “times have changed”.
“I think, the continent has changed … the attitude of the United States to the region has changed,” she said.
This week’s Headliner, Juan Guaido’s representative to the UK Vanessa Neumann.
Source: Al Jazeera