Venezuela government, opposition to hold new round of talks

Venezuela government, opposition to hold new round of talks
Venezuela government, opposition to hold new round of talks

Venezuelan government and opposition delegates meeting in the Dominican Republic will hold a new round of talks on Thursday on resolving the crisis facing the country, the Dominican president said.

Venezuela is in the throes of a deepening crisis caused by falling oil prices, spiraling inflation and corruption that has ravaged the oil-rich country’s economy. President Nicolas Maduro has increasingly consolidated power, aided by disarray in the opposition.

“Although we have very important advances, we are still left with pending issues,” President Danilo Medina said Saturday.

The two sides will hold further talks in Santo Domingo on January 18, said Medina, one of those working to encourage the dialogue.

After 10 hours of meetings aimed at finding solutions to the protracted political and economic crises, Jorge Rodriguez, the main Venezuelan government delegate, said there was consensus on the “majority of the points.”

“We remain at the negotiating table… we have some points that I am sure will be resolved” in the talks on January 18, Rodriguez said.

Julio Borges, the main delegate for the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), also highlighted agreement.

But the MUD’s main requirement in the negotiations is that this year’s presidential election be “free and fair” — something that will be difficult to achieve.

The latest round of meetings, which began on Thursday, came after Maduro’s government threatened to ban key opposition parties from the election, while the opposition threatened to resume street protests which cost the lives of 125 people last year.

Source: News Agencies