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News > Latin America

Venezuela: Maduro Signs Agreement, Opposition Backs Out

  • President Nicolas Maduro

    President Nicolas Maduro | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 February 2018

The Venezuelan government accused the U.S. of attempting to "sabotage" the talks.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has signed the agreement drafted by government and opposition representatives in the Unasur-mediated negotiations in the Dominican Republic, but the agreement was left hanging after the opposition refused to signed it.

Ex-Prime Minister Zapatero Criticizes Venezuelan Opposition

After the Venezuelan government signed the two-party agreement for democratic coexistence on Feb. 7, talks have been suspended indefinitely after the opposition backed out.

On Tuesday, Venezuelan government representative Jorge Rodriguez stressed that all the demands requested by the opposition are reflected in the agreement, while accusing the United States of attempting to "sabotage" the talks.

What was believed to be the final stages of the agreement coincided with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s Latin American tour, throughout which he openly called for a military coup against the Venezuelan government and an oil embargo on the Bolivarian Republic.

Now, Venezuela heads to presidential elections with an opposition still uncertain on whether it will participate in the early elections they've called for on numerous occasions. 

Here's the agreement the opposition failed to sign:  

Democratic Coexistence Agreement for Venezuela

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

February 7, 2018

Gathered, the Government and Opposition, coincide in the need to agree on a political, economic and social framework to generate effective progress on Venezuela's current situation.  

The objectives of the present accords are the affirmation of national sovereignty, democratic stability, governability, respect of human rights, guarantees for electoral processes, cooperation in the face of the current socio-economic situation, reaffirm the rule of law and constitutional order, absolute rejection of violence as a political tool, and a policy of reconciliation as the base for national democratic coexistence.   

The development of main points of this agreement will be subject to the reciprocal fulfillment of all acquired commitments.  

1. Sovereignty and unilateral sanctions against Venezuela

The Government and Opposition agree to work together so unilateral sanctions  that block the financial capabilities to meet the Venezuelan people's basic needs are revised and annulled. Hence, a bilateral commission is created to act in the international community. The commission will begin working within 48 hours.

The Government and Opposition ratify the legitimate rights of Venezuela over the territory of Guayana Esequiba and highlight their unrestricted adherence to the 1966 Geneva Accord as only valid juridical instrument to settle this territorial controversy and to reach a practical and satisfactory arrangement for both Parts.

Consequently, the Parts reject the unexplainable recommendation by the UN General Secretary, which aims to deviate the application of the political means ordered by the Geneva Accord, and leaves the resolution of this controversy in a dangerous inertia, not taking advantage of the of the legal and peaceful virtue this international treaty offers, in harmony with the postulates of peace to which the United Nations owes itself.  

The Parts ratify their firm support to the actions undertaken by the Republic in defense of it sovereign right over the Esequibo.

2. Elections

Elections will be celebrated on April 22 of the year 2018.

Guarantees for the electoral process:

It is urged that two council members appointed on December 13, 2016 by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice be selected. These will be the result of the consensus of the signatories of this agreement

The Government and Opposition agree to propose to the U.N. General Secretary to form a delegation to accompany and observe the elections, and a representation on the countries that accompanied and signed this accord.

Equal access to public and private media, and to national and international social networks will be ensured and favored throughout the electoral campaign.

For the day of elections, the national voting centers will be reinstated to their original places and the largest possible public dissemination will be carried out for voters' knowledge.

All technical audits will be carried out with established standards, no lower to those implemented in the elections of October 7, 2012 and December 6, 2015. Particularly, audits will include all the system's components, with established protocols and the presence of international observation.

The appropriate draw of table members and adequate notification to them will be carried out with due supervision by the Electoral Power.

The electoral registry will remain open to updates both internally and internationally since February 8 to February 15.

The parts commit to reinforce mechanisms for the political participation of partied within the democratic system.   

Within the Agreement Monitoring and Verification Commission, a high-level group that will tend to the issues that emerge and the development of the electoral process will be constituted. This Commission will be integrated by a government representative, an opposition representative and former president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.  

The parts commit to recognize the results of the presidential elections of 2018, regardless of its results. 

3. Strengthening the Rule of Law and Constitutional Order

The Government and Oppositions agree to create a political commission between the National Assembly and the National Constituent Assembly for institutional coexistence.

4. The Economic and Social Situation

Without prejudice to the competences and responsibilities of the National Government regarding public policies in the economic and social area, it is agreed:

Immediately set up a commission for the study, analysis and formulation of constructive proposals to address the economic situation of Venezuela.

This Commission will be open to the work and proposals of the different social sectors and may request the collaboration of experts.

As a priority, the commission will propose measures to promote the access of goods and services to the population, through the various existing channels, such as suppression of financial blockades, obtaining loan options from the various international organizations and entities or countries willing to cooperate, and in general, any other way that may contribute to this end.

The present commission will be constituted within the first seven days after this agreement is signed.

5. Truth Commission

The Truth Commission must carry out its work in the shortest possible time and present a report within a period of 2 months. Three representatives of the Opposition and a long-standing human rights NGO proposed by the Opposition, will be incorporated. The Commission will continue to promote measures in a direction favorable to the initiatives adopted on December 23, 2017.

The purpose of this Commission is reconciliation, reparation to the victims, peace, justice, and democratic coexistence in Venezuela.

6. Agreement Monitoring and Verification Commission

The Commission is set up to promote, monitor and comply with the agreements between the Government and the Opposition.

It will be composed of (representatives of the Government, representatives of the Opposition), the Government of the Dominican Republic, the Foreign Ministers of the accompanying countries that accompany the signing of this agreement and former President Rodríguez Zapatero. It will meet once a month at a predetermined place.

It will be chaired and convened by the government of the Dominican Republic.

The Government and the Opposition may promote extraordinary meetings through the President of the Dominican Republic.

The Monitoring Commission will guarantee compliance with the agreements, resolve interpretative doubts and conflicts that may arise. Its decision method will be consensus.

Likewise, the Commission may formally address governments, organizations and international entities to request collaboration in the development of this Agreement, all this, with respect to the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

All Commission texts, agreements and reports will be deposited with the government of the Dominican Republic, which will act as attesting official of its authenticity. The Commission will appoint a coordinator and a Technical Secretariat who will be provided with the necessary support to carry out their tasks.

The Commission will work indefinitely and will review the Agreement and the need to maintain, modify and terminate it after the presidential elections of 2018.

Done and signed in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on February 6, 2018.


In representation of the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,




In representation of the opposition to the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,



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