Opposition leader Juan Guaido said Thursday he sent delegates to Norway as part of an attempt by Oslo to mediate in the Venezuela crisis, but denied talks were underway with President Nicolas Maduro’s government.
“There are some envoys in Norway,” Guido told a political rally in Caracas. He said Oslo “is trying to mediate” in the crisis.
It was the first official confirmation that negotiations were being attempted between the government and opposition after a months-long power struggle.
Norway’s NRK radio and television network, quoting anonymous sources, earlier reported that talks had taken place at a secret location in the Norwegian capital for “several days” and the delegations were due to return to Caracas on Thursday.
“We can neither confirm nor deny Norway’s involvement in peace processes or dialogue initiatives,” a Norwegian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Ane Haavardsdatter Lunde, told AFP.
Several South American media outlets, such as daily ALnavio, also reported talks were held in the Scandinavian country.
Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez and the governor of Miranda province Hector Rodriguez represented Maduro’s government, media reports said.
The opposition was represented by former deputy Gerardo Blyde, former minister Fernando Martinez Mottola and the vice president of the National Assembly Stalin Gonzalez.
Norway, home of the Nobel Peace Prize and the now-defunct Israeli-Palestinian Oslo accords, has a long tradition of playing the role of “facilitator” in peace processes around the world, including that in Colombia between the government and the FARC rebels in 2016.