Venezuela’s opposition has announced that it will not attend planned talks with a government delegation in the Dominican Republic, saying the other side has failed to meet its promises regarding human rights and elections.
“There won’t be anyone traveling to Dominican Republic,” read a Tweet from the opposition Democratic Unity coalition on Tuesday, adding, “We hope that in coming days they meet requirements, our desire is that this comes to fruition.”
The Venezuelan opposition sent a delegation to meet the Dominican Republic’s president this month to seek a solution to the country’s deep political crisis. However, it boycotted the talks planned for Wednesday, saying the government could use the talks as a time-wasting “show” to protect itself amid a worsening economic situation.
At least 125 people were killed in months of clashes and protests in Venezuela earlier this year. President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly accused the opposition and its Western backers of capitalizing on the country’s economic woes, which has been exacerbated by a global slump in oil prices, to undermine his Socialist government.
Amid the demands put forward by the opposition for attending talks are a date for the next presidential election, freedom for hundreds of jailed activists, a foreign humanitarian aid corridor, and respect for the opposition-led congress.
However, some believe the move to boycott the talks comes amid fears among the opposition leaders that direct talks with the Maduro administration would be viewed by supporters as a betrayal of dead protesters. That would mean that the opposition is deliberately delaying the talks to allay such concerns.
Maduro’s endorsement of the talks also comes amid increasing international pressure on his government. Washington has slapped some heavy sanctions on Venezuelan officials over the crackdown on protests while Spain is also pushing for similar restrictive measures in the European Union against members of the Maduro administration.
– Press TV
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