Hope fades as violence continues in Venezuela on first day of peace talks

April 10, 2014 | By | Reply More

Apr 10, – As the Venezuelan government prepared to hold its first open and public dialogue with the opposition on Thursday, violence continued across the country.

hromedia Hope fades as violence continues in Venezuela on first day of peace talks intl. news3Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was to sit down for the first time Thursday with opposition leaders, in a bid to end weeks of deadly street protests against his beleaguered government.

Some hardline opposition groups, including the party of jailed protest leader Leopoldo Lopez, are boycotting the dialogue while demonstrators remain in jail.

Critics of Venezuela’s government believe no deal can be achieved because Maduro is not willing to give in to their demands.

This dialogue will not lead to anything credible and lasting, “These [talks] are mostly for international consumption.”

The current protests as not organized by the country’s opposition as the government alleges. “These are students who have no overt political agenda,” Cardenas said.

Just one year after succeeding his late mentor, iconic leftist leader Hugo Chavez, Maduro agreed to an unprecedented face-to-face meeting with the opposition, after the regional group Unasur — the Union of South American Nations — offered to mediate.

The talks, also to be monitored by representatives from the Vatican, aim to end violent clashes between security forces and protesters that have rocked the country since early February, leaving at least 39 people dead and more than 600 wounded.

However, statements from both sides on the eve of the dialogue have raised doubts as to whether a breakthrough could be achieved.

Maduro this week suggested that the talks should be in the form of a “debate” rather than negotiations, since concluding a deal with the opposition would make him a “traitor to Chavismo.”

His Vice President, Jorge Arreaza, expressed a similar sentiment, declaring that the government is not going to the talks “to strike a deal — we’re going to be heard.”

Foreign ministers from three Unasur nations — Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia — were scheduled to monitor the discussion, and officials said a senior Catholic delegation could include the Vatican’s secretary of state Pietro Parolin.

Press journalist for HRO media – Norberto Lluch contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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