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  • Bolivian President Evo Morales

    Bolivian President Evo Morales | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 September 2017

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and Dominican President Danilo Medina invited both sides to restart dialogue.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has expressed support for upcoming talks between the Venezuelan government and the country's opposition, describing them as "healthy."

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"Latin America must be a region of peace," Morales said during a speech in El Alto, Bolivia.

"This initiation of dialogue between the government of Venezuela and the opposition is healthy. We will support this process because peace must prevail in our region."

The Venezuelan government announced Thursday that talks with the opposition will resume on Sept. 27, following two days of discussions in the Dominican Republic.

Representatives from Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and Nicaragua will accompany both sides throughout the talks.

"We are in the process of transforming an agenda that will lead to a definitive negotiation to the crisis," said Dominican President Danilo Medina.

Jorge Rodriguez, mayor of Caracas’ Libertador municipality and lead negotiator, said "On behalf of the President Nicolas Maduro's delegation we can say that we are moving forward in important points and that despite the aggression against our economy we insist on a dialogue of peace."

Rodriguez also thanked everyone for taking part.

He went on to tell reporters that while yesterday's talks were very good, today's were even better.

The meetings between both delegations have been held at the Dominican Republic's Foreign Ministry headquarters.

The opposition was represented by Timoteo Zambrano, Luis Florido, Manuel Rosales, Vicente Diaz, Eudoro Gonzalez, and president of the National Assembly, Julio Borges.

"Zapatero: I have great confidence in the government of President Danilo Medina and the chancellor who are doing a great job."

The Venezuelan government was represented by Mayor Jorge Rodriguez, the president of the National Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez, and Roy Chaderton Matos. 

National Constituent Assembly President Delcy Rodriguez said of her attendance at the talks in the Dominican Republic, “We have come here with a flag of peace.”

The Democratic Unity Table, MUD, a leading opposition coalition, said in a statement (in Spanish) that going into the negotiations their fundamental aim remains the removal of the government of President Nicolas Maduro, in order to “save Venezuela.”

They said that the political negotiation will be a part of their ongoing strategy, which will also include “pressure on the streets,” and “international pressure.”

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The MUD has stated that their points of negotiation include the “renovation” of the National Electoral Council, attention to the “humanitarian emergency” in the country, and the release of all supposed “political prisoners” and “the end of political persecution.”

They also call for the “constitutional normalization of the country,” apparently referring to the successful constituent elections and assembly that has formed, which the MUD has repeatedly rejected.

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and Dominican President Medina invited both sides to restart dialogue in the Caribbean nation, while the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has also welcomed the move.

“(We) encourage the Venezuelan political actors to seize this opportunity,” his office said in a statement.

The statement added that Guterres is convinced that “the situation in Venezuela requires a political solution based on dialogue and compromise between the government and the opposition to ensure coexistence among all Venezuelans.”

In 2016, the government of President Nicolas Maduro called for a dialogue with the opposition, which was abandoned on several occasions by their leaders.

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