Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has accepted the idea of third-party mediation in talks with the opposition.
The recommendation for a third party came after two days of meetings in Caracas that included Venezuelan officials, the opposition, and South American foreign ministers.
Details of the planned talks and who the third party mediator would be were not announced. Other attempts at Venezuelan peace talks have failed.
In Washington, Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson said Thursday that sanctions could be an important tool against the Maduro government.
She said Washington would consult with its allies if the opposition is not given any democratic space.
Months of street protests against President Maduro and his socialist government have killed at least 32 people.
Protesters say they are tired of food shortages and out-of-control crime.