Earlier this year, Norway was hosting multiple rounds of talks between Venezuela’s actual government, and the US-backed opposition, which posits a future situation in which they will end up being the government.
The demands from the opposition and the US are to hold new elections, and according to those familiar with the May talks, they say the Maduro government signaled a willingness to hold an election in 9-12 months, assuming it would end the persistent US regime change attempts.
That Maduro was willing for a new vote is surprising, and he might see it as a way out, since the US-backed opposition didn’t run in the 2018 election at all, which led them and the US to declare the vote illegitimate.
It’s also interesting that the US was involved at all, as the US expressed anger at the very idea of the Norway talks at the time, and chided Norway for having them. Now, officials say the US has opened up secret lines of communications with a number of members of Maduro’s inner circle.
The secret US talks don’t seem directly related to the secret Norway election proposal, but rather to the already failed US coup attempt, as the US is still trying to convince Venezuela’s leadership they won’t face further retribution if they betray Maduro and allow regime change.
The US inclination to have regime change just happen unilaterally based on a demand seems intact, related to Trump’s talk of a naval blockade of the entire, large country. It’s not clear where that leaves the election as of right now, though the US may ultimately view a proper election as a very last resort kind of idea.