Venezuela’s political crisis talks are over, says Guaido

Published September 16, 2019, 11:48 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Agence France-Presse

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido said talks aimed at resolving the country’s political crisis have ended, more than a month after President Nicolas Maduro broke off the Norwegian-mediated dialogue.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido (AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)
Opposition leader Juan Guaido (AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Maduro called off the talks, which were initially held in Oslo and they moved to Barbados, on August 7 in response to US sanctions against his government.

“Maduro has abandoned the negotiation process with misleading excuses,” Guaido said in a statement Sunday evening. “After more than 40 days during which he refused to continue, we can confirm that the Barbados (dialogue) mechanism has ended.”

Guaido, who heads the opposition-controlled National Assembly and declared himself acting president in January, has demanded that Maduro step down to clear the way for elections.

Maduro has refused to budge, insisting sanctions be lifted and blaming the country’s spiral into economic and political chaos on a US-directed conspiracy.

Alluding to Maduro, Guaido said: “Those who usurp power have prevented a peaceful exit, refusing to discuss and accept a sensible proposal made by our delegation to put an end to this conflict.”

Guaido’s team said it is in favor of “any solution” that “would end the suffering of Venezuelans.”

Guaido has the political backing of the United States and more than 50 countries, but Maduro has so far weathered a failed military rebellion, street protests and a severe economic recession that has driven millions of Venezuelans to leave the country.

Maduro, who succeeded the late leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez, was elected in 2013 and re-elected last year in a vote that was widely denounced as rigged.