Maduro to accept talks with Venezuela opposition

The Silver Cindy tanker sails out of the Citgo Refinery dock bound for Mexico with a load of gasoline at the Port of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi Texas U.S. on Thursday Jan. 7 2016

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro Backs Talks With Reluctant Opposition

A previous round of talks collapsed past year.

On Tuesday, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, accepted an invitation by former Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and the Dominican Republic government to hold a meeting with representatives of the opposition in the Caribbean country in order to continue the dialogue between both parties.

The president announced yesterday that the socialist leader Jorge Rodriguez will lead the governmental delegation to the meetings, which resulted from an initiative of the Dominican Republic and former head of the Spanish government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

One of the opposition delegates, Julio Borges, warned Wednesday that a formal dialogue would only be possible if Maduro accepted the opposition's conditions and if there was worldwide involvement.

The talks began at 5pm local time and ended just before 10pm.

A repeat of that failure in Santo Domingo would likely worsen the already catastrophic situation in Venezuela where Maduro had to weather a wave of opposition protests that left 125 people dead between April and July.

UN Security Council condemns N.Korea over missile launch
One of the missiles flew 250 kilometers - that is, the distance to the establishment of the Pyongyang polygon from where the ballistic missile was launched earlier this morning, and hit the test set.

"The time for symbolic gestures is over", said the alliance said in a statement.

"It is not enough that the Venezuelan government expresses its desire to maintain a dialogue with the opposition", said Dastis.

More than 120 people have been killed in anti-government protests triggered by the Supreme Court's attempt to strip the opposition-dominated National Assembly of power. Opposition protests have sputtered since the installation of a powerful, pro-government constitutional assembly in early August that is targeting Mr Maduro's political foes and ruling with almost unlimited power. The government in turn accused the opposition of lying and denied having reached any kind of accord with the coalition as part of the talks. They contend Mr Maduro has become a dictator squashing any dissent and say he should be removed from power rather than negotiated with.

Opposition lawmakers pulled out of Vatican-backed talks past year, saying the government failed to free political prisoners and prepare elections, which formed part of an agreement for dialogue.

The opposition is also demanding that delayed regional elections now scheduled for October and a presidential vote slated for 2018 proceed as outlined in the constitution. A process that should be presided over by the highest respect for the principles of democracy, human rights, social commitment and national sovereignty.

Latest News