Washington allowed a major US oil company to resume operations in Venezuela after its government and opposition reached a "social protection" deal in talks that resumed after a 15-month hiatus.

The accord marked a breakthrough after 15 months of stalemate between Maduro's government and his opposition.
The accord marked a breakthrough after 15 months of stalemate between Maduro's government and his opposition. (Fernando Llano / AP)

Venezuela's leftist government and opposition have signed what they called a social protection agreement as they resumed talks on ending a grinding political crisis.

The two sides in the Venezuelan crisis signed a humanitarian agreement focused on education, health, food security, flood response and electricity programs on Saturday.

They also agreed to continue talks on presidential elections scheduled for 2024.

The accord was reached during negotiations held in Mexico. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said it represents "hope for all of Latin America."

Immediately following the signing of the agreement, the US Treasury Department issued a license to oil major Chevron to resume limited oil extraction operations in Venezuela.

The license will remain in effect for six months while the Biden administration judges whether President Nicolas Maduro's government meets commitments made in the accord, Treasury said.

Venezuela holds the world's largest oil reserves even as economic crisis and political impasse have led a UN-estimated seven million Venezuelans to leave the country in recent years.

READ MORE: Venezuela govt seeks 'social agreement' with opposition to unblock funds

International efforts

International efforts to resolve the Venezuelan crisis have gained strength since Russia's attacks on Ukraine and the pressure it has placed on global energy supplies.

The accord marked a breakthrough after 15 months of stalemate between Maduro's government and his opposition.

READ MORE: Once a pariah, Venezuela leader is now a life-saver for the West

Source: TRTWorld and agencies