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Maduro says ‘some progress’ was made in this week’s talks with Venezuelan opposition but early elections are not on the table

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s right-hand man Diosdado Cabello has ruled out early elections despite talks between representatives of the government and the opposition in Barbados.

Venezuela president-in-waiting Juan Guaidó

Maduro’s removal from office has been a key demand of the opposition, which is led by Juan Guaido, the National Assembly head who declared himself acting president in January.

But Cabello, who heads the pro-regime Constituent Assembly and is considered the country’s second most powerful politician, insisted there would be no early elections to replace Maduro.

“They say: the government’s going to Barbados because there are going to be presidential elections in I don’t know how long and the candidates are X and Y,” he told state television channel VTV.

“Here there are no presidential elections, here the president’s name is Nicolas Maduro,” Cabello said. Before the talks began on Monday, Guaido had said the opposition would attend “to establish a negotiation on the end of the dictatorship.”

After they began, Maduro said he was “optimistic … we can find a path to peace.” An initial round of talks had been held in Norway but they made no apparent progress.

Late Wednesday, Maduro’s chief negotiator, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said there had been “a successful exchange” and thanked Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley for hosting the talks. He quoted Maduro as saying, “Some progress has been made.”

Venezuela has been in a deep recession for five years with shortages of food and medicine and failing public services causing great hardships for ordinary people. Around a quarter of the 30 million population are in need of aid, according to the United Nations, while three million people have left the country since the start of 2016.

Guaido and the opposition accused Maduro of having rigged the 2018 poll that saw him re-elected and describe the socialist leader as a “usurper.” They want him to stand down so new elections can be held.

The talks almost did not take place as Guido had said last week negotiations would not be re-opened following the death of an officer in custody over an alleged coup plot. The suspicious death of retired naval officer Rafael Acosta Arevalo had sparked international condemnation.

Some in the opposition are opposed to negotiations, believing they may reinvigorate Maduro, but Guaido urged them to have faith insisting that everything was designed to bring about an “end to the usurpation, a transitional government and free elections.”
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Credit: France24, www.france24.com

18 thoughts on “Maduro says ‘some progress’ was made in this week’s talks with Venezuelan opposition but early elections are not on the table

  1. Isn’t democracy interesting? Brexit, Trump,Maduro etc. etc. If you don’t get the result you want, keep whining….

    1. When 3 million people have left Venezuela because of Maduro then someone should listen to them and believe that Venezuela is having a big problem. The Maduro government suppressed the opposition which more than 60 countries recognized that the election was fraudulant.

      1. Esmeralda, I know you think sanctions are a great thing, but just maybe they have had the desired effect? And these 60 countries, they might fear the long arm of the US and get in line accordingly? The vote may have been legal AND lots of people dislike their elected leader. Know any other countries that fit that description?

        1. When people break the law (kill people or steal from people for example) they belong in jail however when leaders of countries break laws there is no other form of punishment other than sanctions. If there is no form of punishment then the perpetrators have no incentive to stop or correct their behaviour

          1. Or if you’re a US president, military leader, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, or warmongering government official guilty of war crimes you can write books, make million dollar speeches or become a Fox News contributor and make out like a bandit instead of rotting away in a dark, dank jail cell as you should be.

            1. The books are just a money laundering scheme. They don’t really sell that many copies. They’re purchased in bulk by the people who benefit from the crimes committed. At the end of the day, the author gets to report it as legit income.

      2. The opposition boycotted the election. Nobody suppressed them, they suppressed themselves.

  2. There should be only two acceptable courses of action in Venezuela. Either hold elections with international supervision, or Maduro resigns. Failing that, the countries that are being overwhelmed by refugees should threaten military action to accomplish the latter.

    1. Oh nooooooooooooo no no they can not threaten military action because they will be blamed for interfering and they will find a way to blame the US. I’m sure it will be the fault of the US somehow. Besides Russia is backing Venezuela and Russia is ruthless when they are fighting, Look at Syria when Russia backed the dictator Assad. Nothing good came out of that. But you are correct the other countries should go in and boot Maduro out but I can see the writing on the wall; military intervention is dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t.

      Totally agree that there should be election with international supervision but there will always be the naysayers that don’t want any other country to interfere even though that is the fair way to proceed. Besides Maduro is NOT going to give up willingly…he is way to narcissist.

      The solution is to convince the ones backing Maduro (military) or the ones too afraid to do anything about Maduro to change camps and help oust Maduro. Also keep in mind that Russia placed some of their most ruthless militia in Venezuela and these guys will kill very easily. Some of them are ex KGB and will not need much to instigate a killing. These killers thrive on assassinating and executing people. These are baaaaad duds and unfortunately they are firmly entrenched in Venezuela.

    2. They held elections with international supervision. Maduro won because they opposition called for a boycott instead of backing a single candidate. Now they want a do-over because that strategy backfired.

      1. You are trying to justify rigged elections (the rigging actually started months in advance) by dubious arguments. The elections were not supervised internationally unless you accept the electoral commissions from Angola, Etiopía, Malí, Mozambique, Palestina, República Dominicana, Rusia, Sudáfrica y Suriname as neutral observers. The opposition called for a boycott because most parties/movements and candidates had been barred from running in months prior. Why don´t you say that? It appears you never had the experience of living yourself in the type of “democracies” Venezuela represents for you. My country lived 56 years under dictatorships (first brown, then red) with no free elections whatsoever but I am very sure the “elections” we had in East Germany for 40 years would qualify as free and fair for you because they were free in the sense that you could vote for ANY party as long as it was communist or one of its afiliates. I see lots of similarities to Venezuela. Correa once called Eastern Europe an “unfortunate slip” in the history of socialism. You be the judge.

        1. So the UN isn’t an impartial observer?

          There were two opposition candidates on the ballot. Polls indicated that could have won by double digits had the opposition chosen to participate instead of choosing the soft coup route instead. If the elections were rigged, the opposition wouldn’t have won control of the legislature.

          As for judging, in my judgment 40 years of occupation by the Soviets was better than Germany deserved after what they pulled. Give thanks there’s no such thing as karma.

  3. In this case, as with so many before, a revolution by violence is justified in the face of oppression by an un-elected and repressive regime. After all, isn’t that what happened in Cuba in 1959?

    1. The repressive regime in pre-Castro Cuba was a creation of US business and US organized crime. (Have I just repeated myself?). Batista made Maduro look good. When Cuba’s deliverer arrived, he was at first ADORED by the US media, but treated rudely by Ike. So an Cuba invasion was organized with Mafia, Batististes and US resources. It failed and the USA demonized and persecuted Cuba/Castro since.

      Same story over and over again. And everyone knew what would happen when Trump slashed the food and other relief to Latin countries. (duh!) He needed a south border crisis and he stage-managed this one. What do you think will happen to US/Venezuela relations if Guaidó doesn’t become corrupt and leave his nation open for US exploitation? (yawn)

    2. Except they were elected and if they were repressive Guaido would have been in prison when he declared himself president and incited riots.

      1. “…if they WERE repressive…” – so, they are not? Just for the record.

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