CARACAS – Venezuela’s MUD opposition alliance will attend the next negotiation session with the Nicolas Maduro government on Dec. 1-2 with a delegation headed by Parliamentary president Julio Borges and including representatives of economic sectors and civil society.
MUD made the announcement of the expended negotiating committee on Monday at a Caracas press conference at which Borges reaffirmed that the opening of a humanitarian channel to allow the shipment of medicines and food and a change in the composition of the Electoral Council will be the central issues to be discussed.
The release of imprisoned opposition members that MUD and international entities consider to be “political prisoners,” and the restoration of certain constitutional powers to Parliament after they were removed from it after the opposition’s victory in the December 2015 legislative elections are other demands that will be on the table.
“The delegation of Venezuelan democrats has been expanded to include ... representatives of the working, productive, academic sectors and human rights organizations,” said the former president of the Fedecameras chambers of commerce federation, Jorge Roig, one of the MUD delegates who will travel to Santo Domingo for the talks.
“The fight to achieve these objectives cannot be (waged) with political elements alone,” said the businessmen.
Supervising the talks will be the foreign ministers of Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
The MUD delegation will be comprised of about 10 people and headed by Borges and lawmakers Enrique Marquez, Luis Florido, Timoteo Zambrano and Luis Aquiles Moreno, among others, who represent the four most important political parties within the opposition alliance.
The parties with the most number of elected deputies among the opposition are participating in the hopes of obtaining electoral guarantees with an eye toward the presidential election scheduled for 2018.
The opposition complained of serious irregularities and fraud in at least one Venezuelan state in the Oct. 15 regional elections, which the Chavista forces won, according to the official results, but the same parties who are engaging in the dialogue will not field candidates in the Dec. 10 municipal elections saying that they do not see that a fair process has been implemented by the Electoral Council.