SANTO DOMINGO – Venezuela’s government and opposition started a new round of talks on Tuesday in Santo Domingo in an effort to find solutions to the crisis in the South American country.
The Venezuelan government and a divided opposition resumed talks after a controversial move to hold earlier than usual the next presidential elections, in which President Nicolas Maduro will seek reelection.
Upon arriving at the meeting, Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said he had hopes that the talks will produce good results, while the opposition delegation headed by lawmaker Jorge Borges made no statement.
Rodriguez, leader of the Venezuelan government’s delegation, told the press that they are currently “dealing with the details” of an eventual accord.
Asked about the possibility of changing the date of the election, Rodriguez said “we’re working on all the issues and on all the issues our positions are getting closer together.”
After a meeting of more than six hours behind closed doors on Monday followed by a three-hour recess, both sides planned to return to the dialogue Monday night, but finally decided that the meeting, which had been considered definitive both by the government and the opposition, will instead continue this Tuesday because they need more time.
The opposition returned to the dialogue without the support of Voluntad Popular, the party of Leopoldo Lopez, its leader currently under house arrest, which chose to leave the talks when the next presidential election was moved forward to sometime before May, and because of the obligatory revalidation of political parties decreed by the ruling party’s National Constituent Assembly.