SANTO DOMINGO – The Venezuelan government and opposition resumed on Tuesday their dialogue amid contradicting statements about whether they had reached a definitive accord to put an end to their country’s political crisis.
Upon his arrival at the meeting, Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that on Monday evening a “definitive” agreement with the opposition had been reached and would be signed on Tuesday, a claim that was denied minutes later by opposition spokesman Julio Borges.
When queried by reporters, Borges said that there had been no meeting Monday night and “there is no agreement.”
“Be sure that we’re going to do nothing else than ... defend the rights of Venezuelans,” he added.
When asked by the press about the significance of the table and two chairs set up at the entrance to the Dominican Foreign Ministry, Borges said that “there may be a table, there may be a pen, but there must be truth to continue exploring the rights of Venezuelans.”
Shortly before Borges’ arrival at the Foreign Ministry, the Venezuelan opposition grouped within the MUD coalition also denied on its Twitter account that any agreement had been reached with the government of Nicolas Maduro.
“The (coalition) wants to make clear to the country that up to this moment there has been no agreement with the government,” tweeted MUD.
However, Rodriguez said that late Monday night an agreement indeed had been reached with the opposition that “we’re going to perform the formality that we established for what we would sign here.”
“In the agreement there’s a proposal of a date for (presidential) elections, certainly, all the details are completely ready, we’re fulfilling all the elements of the details, we’re here, ready and waiting,” Rodriguez said, holding a pen.
The meeting to resume the bilateral dialogue had been scheduled for Monday, but it had to be postponed until Tuesday after neither of the parties traveled to the Dominican capital.
After three days of talks, Dominican President Danilo Medina announced last Wednesday that the parties had signed “a document” listing the progress made on the dialogue agenda but that several issues remained pending that had to be discussed in Caracas.
Two of the main issues requiring further discussion are the presidential election, in which the opposition has not yet agreed to participate, and the recognition of the government’s all-powerful Constituent National Assembly.