- Title: Venezuela opposition says Norway talks must focus on elections
- Date: 2nd September 2019
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (SEPTEMBER 2, 2019) (REUTERS) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, STALIN GONZALEZ, WALKING TO LECTERN AT NEWS CONFERENCE GONZALEZ SPEAKING AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, STALIN GONZALEZ, SAYING: "We put a proposal of the table. It was the regime who stopped (talks), they left abruptly because they did not want to talk about the substantial issues, the important issues are a free election, the power for Venezuelans to decide their destiny. This is a question for the regime. If they are ready or not to discuss the important issues, if they are willing or not to give solutions to the suffering of the people. We have left the proposal on the table and it is up to them to answer." GENERAL VIEW OF NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS MEDIA AT NEWS CONFERENCE GONZALEZ LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 16th September 2019 19:28
- Keywords: Venezuela peace negotiations opposition Juan Guaido President Nicolas Maduro elections Norway
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001AUYUYIV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Norway-backed talks between Venezuela's opposition and the government of President Nicolas Maduro must focus on elections, an opposition negotiator said on Monday (September 2), as the dialogue proceedings remain stalled after the government walked out.
Maduro's delegation suspended its participation last month to protest a new round of U.S. sanctions, and has not yet established when it will return to the proceedings that are meant to resolve the country's political standoff.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognised by more than 50 countries as the nation's legitimate president, has said the country needs to hold a free and fair vote following Maduro's 2018 re-election that was widely described as rigged.
Neither Venezuela's information ministry nor Norway's foreign ministry replied to requests for comment.
Four sources told Reuters last month that Maduro allies during the talks had discussed the possibility of holding a presidential vote in the coming months.
The government delegation had in theory agreed to vote on the condition that the United States lift sanctions, that Maduro run as the Socialist Party candidate, and that it be held in a year, one of the sources said.
Many opposition sympathisers say Maduro uses dialogue proceedings as stalling mechanisms to burnish the international image of the ruling Socialist Party while avoiding any significant changes.
Maduro accuses the opposition and the United States of seeking to overthrow him, and attributes the country's economic collapse to sanctions. His critics say it is the result of failed economic policies.
(Production: Yorgenis Farina)
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