It was the big surprise at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, which was held yesterday in Luxembourg. Among the topics to be discussed, the Spanish minister, Jose Manuel Albares, proposed to his counterparts the possibility of lifting EU sanctions on Venezuela. An idea that comes within the framework of following the path of the United States, and after the dialogue in Barbados, the summit held last week between Nicolas Maduro and the opposition, where they agreed to hold elections in the second half of next year. “I have intervened with my colleagues to raise the need to study the review of the EU sanctions on Venezuela, in line with the recent decisions of the United States and given the positive evolution of the dialogue among Venezuelans,” Albares said.
Although he called Joseph Borrell To carry out the work, the minister is committed to normalizing Europe’s relations with the revolutionary leadership when Spain has been missing from the process that led to the signing of the Barbados Agreement. An agreement that would not have been reached without the secret negotiations between Washington and Caracas, which have allowed the partial lifting of energy sanctions in exchange for the launch of repatriation flights for Venezuelan emigrants from US soil and the ratification of minimum democratic conditions for the presidential elections.
Another counterpart is the release of political prisoners, although so far only six of 273 have been released. Among those who remain in prison are four Spanish prisoners, three women (María Auxiliadora Delgado, Ángela Expósito and Karen Hernández) and one man (Jorge Alayeto). For now, It is unknown if these releases will be a condition of Europe to lift the sanctions, since ministry sources have not specified.
After the struggle between both administrations, Juan Gonzalezspecial advisor to Joe Biden, imposed an ultimatum on Maduro that expires at the end of November. During these weeks, the Bolivarian revolution should advance in the release of prisoners, especially Americans, and in the withdrawal of disqualifications against opposition leaders.
The government of Pedro Sanchez It has not been part of the countries that have held the event in Barbados, where Norway served as sponsor with the support of Russia and the Netherlands. Latin American foreign ministers also supported the agreements with their presence, in addition to France, with a starring role (Macron has offered to lead electoral observation in the presidential elections) that has particularly stung Spanish diplomacy.