Allies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had discussed holding a presidential election in the coming months during talks to find a breakthrough in the country's political crisis, according to sources. Opposition politicians will travel to Washington to speak to US officials this week, the sources said.
Maduro and a delegation representing opposition leader Juan Guaido have been meeting in Barbados as part of talks to resolve a political stalemate in the struggling OPEC nation that is suffering from a hyper-inflationary economic collapse.
Guaido's delegation had proposed a presidential vote in six to nine months on a number of conditions including changes to the elections council and supreme court, said the sources underlining talks are confidential.
The government had in theory agreed to a presidential vote on the condition that the United States lift economic sanctions, Maduro be allowed to run as the Socialist Party candidate, and that the vote be held in a year.
However, the government has since pulled out of the talks to protest a new round of sanctions by Washington, and no new date has been set to resume the discussions, despite a visit by Norway foreign ministry officials - acting as mediators - seeking to revive them.
US officials have expressed support for an election but without Maduro as a candidate, which may be a point of discussion.
Preparing groundwork for an election requires a raft of changes to state institutions, including both the elections council and the supreme court - both of which have aggressively intervened in election processes to favor Maduro.
Another possible roadblock would be the existence of the Constituent Assembly, an all-powerful legislative body controlled by Socialist Party supporters that opposition leaders say could also intervene in any potential vote.