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Canada Plans Restoration of Diplomatic Relations with Venezuela

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Canada Plans Restoration of Diplomatic Relations with Venezuela

In a significant reversal of its previous stance, Canada has taken strides toward restoring diplomatic relations with the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. This move has been influenced by several factors, including geopolitical changes, the need to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, and the importance of maintaining stability in the region. Despite the renewed engagement, Canada continues to express concern over the human rights situation in Venezuela and the need for a democratic resolution to the country's political crisis.

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A Shift in Diplomatic Stance

The administration of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made progress in reestablishing ties with Venezuela's socialist government led by President Nicolás Maduro. Canada had enthusiastically backed the US-led attempt to install National Assembly ex-President Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's leader. However, this effort failed, and Guaidó was overthrown by the opposition in January.

Geopolitical Influences and Humanitarian Concerns

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Last month, the US suspended sanctions on oil, gas, and gold as a goodwill gesture, provided Maduro allows all opposition candidates to participate in next year's elections and releases political prisoners before November 30. Canada's decision to approach Maduro could be influenced by these geopolitical shifts, as well as the need to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

Restoring Diplomatic Relations

According to discussions at a meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister, Mélanie Joly, and her Peruvian counterpart during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, Canada seeks to restore diplomatic relations with Venezuela. Although the dispatch of low-ranking diplomats to Venezuela and vice versa has been agreed upon, the final decision on reestablishing ties will depend on the Venezuelan government's fulfilment of its promise to hold free elections.

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This level of engagement would be less than that of the US and the UK, which have already softened their respective stances toward the Venezuelan regime. Direct communication with Venezuela would allow Canada to better defend its interests in Latin America, including supporting Canadians in the country.

Canada is moving forward in restoring diplomatic relations with Maduro's regime, which it sanctioned in 2017, before any other countries in the Group of 7 (G7). The new lines are part of a "pragmatic" diplomatic approach intended to establish relations with nations that do not share similar ideas. Canada is looking to restore diplomatic relations with Venezuela, said the government in a document summarizing a meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister, Mélanie Joly, and her Peruvian counterpart at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.

However, the potential restoration of ties would depend on the regime's fulfilment of its promise to hold free elections in Venezuela. Canada is seeking ways to restore diplomatic relations with President Nicolás Maduro's Government, aligning with other allied nations. Trudeau's Government is preparing communication lines with Venezuela as part of a pragmatic diplomatic approach, in which it wishes to have relations with nations with which it does not share similar ideas.

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