As relations warm up, Spain names a new ambassador to Venezuela.
After a two-year pause due to the contentious 2018 presidential election, Madrid sent a new envoy to Caracas.
Two years after Madrid resigned from the position in protest of what it claimed was the lack of free elections in the Caribbean nation, Madrid has now selected a new ambassador to Venezuela, signaling a warming of relations.
Following the 2018 presidential election, Spain recognized Juan Guaido as the opposition's interim leader and cut ties with Nicolas Maduro's administration, which culminated in the recall of Spain's top envoy to Caracas in November 2020.
In light of the ongoing political negotiations between Venezuela's government and opposition parties in Mexico, the new appointment, which was announced on Wednesday, signals a change in that posture.
A spokeswoman for the foreign ministry stated that "new circumstances make it advisable to raise Spain's representative in Venezuela to the level of ambassador."
The decision does not change Madrid's stance on the 2018 election, the spokeswoman added. "Once the negotiations in Mexico have restarted, Spain intends to be able to influence… the opening of the Venezuelan political process," the spokesperson said.
The future presidential election in Venezuela in 2024 would be "more democratic and allow the opposition to play the role it was unable to perform at the time," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain's government stated.
Ramon Santos Martinez, who has served as the diplomatic mission's acting chief since November 2021, has been named the new ambassador.
As it strives to form a unified front before the upcoming presidential election, Venezuela's opposition last week decisively voted to overthrow the Guaido-led interim administration.
Since declaring himself the interim president of Venezuela in 2019, Guaido has represented the country's opposition abroad.
Guaido has lost favor on the global stage, primarily as a result of the opposition's failure to depose Maduro.
The talks hosted by Mexico ended earlier this month with no further negotiations expected before the end of the year.
“The international community, starting with the United States, has done a remarkable turnaround,” a source familiar with the talks told the Reuters news agency.
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