Norway says Venezuela opposition and government talks to continue
CARACAS (Reuters) – Talks between Venezuela’s government and the opposition will last, the Norwegian and Venezuelan governments mentioned on Thursday, following a Socialist Party leader announced the end of a round of Oslo-backed talks to end a political crisis.
FILE PHOTO: Venezuela’s Communications and Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez talks during a broadcast at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela March 25, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout through REUTERS
Agents of the ruling Socialist Party met with adversaries of President Nicolas Maduro this week at Barbados as part of talks that began in Norway in May to resolve a stalemate resulting from Maduro’s contested 2018 re-election.
“We declare that the agents of the major political actors in Venezuela are continuing the discussions that were pioneered in Oslo,” Norway’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We emphasise the value of the parties showing utmost caution in their statements and comments about the process.”
Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez, who headed the administration’s delegation, late on Wednesday said through Twitter that the Barbados round of talks had concluded.
Maduro within an evening television broadcast in the organization of Hector Rodriguez, who’s part of the administration’s delegation, said the parties had decided to carry on the dialogue process in a”permanent method.”
Venezuela is suffering from hyperinflationary economic collapse that has led to malnutrition and disease and resisted a migration exodus of over 4 million citizens. Maduro says the problem is the consequence of U.S. sanctions meant to force him from office.
Maduro’s adversaries have for years been wary of dialog proceedings, insisting he’s in the past used them to stall for time.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido, that has been recognised with over 50 countries as Venezuela’s legitimate leader,” claims that the opposition won’t permit this round of talks to drag out like those in the Dominican Republic that finished unsuccessfully in 2018.
Guaido at January invoked the constitution to presume a rival interim presidency after declaring Maduro’s re-election a fraud and also insisting the country should maintain a new vote under proper conditions.
“The people need answers and results,” Stalin Gonzalez, a legislator and member of the opposition delegation, wrote via Twitter after the Norway statement. “Our delegation will hold consultations to advance and finish the Venezuelans’ suffering.”
Socialist Party Vice President Diosdado Cabello, who’s influential in Maduro’s government, on Wednesday night dismissed the notion that any presidential election was in the functions.
“Here there are no presidential elections; here the president is called Nicolas Maduro,” Cabello said during a televised broadcast.