Maduro suspends dialogue with opposition for backing US embargo
Caracas, Aug. 8 (IANS): Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that his government has suspended the latest round of talks with the opposition after the latter showed support for the total economic embargo imposed by the US on the South American country.
According to a government statement on Wednesday, Maduro ordered his delegation not to travel to Barbados, where the talks were taking place under the auspices of Norway, in light of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s backing the new round of US sanctions, reports Efe news.
“President Maduro has decided not to send the Venezuelan delegation on this occasion due to the grave and brutal aggression perpetrated in a continuous and wily fashion by the Trump administration against Venezuela,” read the statement, which was posted on Twitter by Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez.
“We, Venezuelans, have noted with deep indignation that the head of the opposition delegation, Juan Guaido, praises, promotes and supports these harmful actions,” the statement added.
It said that the Venezuelan opposition delegation appointed by Guaido, who has been recognized as the country’s interim president by more than 50 nations, was already in Barbados.
The meetings between the Bolivarian regime and the opposition were scheduled for Thursday and Friday. This was to be the third round of talks on the island.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump said in a letter to Congress that he was issuing an executive order freezing all assets of the Venezuelan government and linked entities and banning most economic transactions with them, allowing exemptions only for the provision of humanitarian aid and for official business conducted by the federal government.
The latest move by the US can be seen as an escalation of measures seeking to further debilitate the Maduro-led government, while attempting to bolster Guaido’s power, following in the footsteps of sanctions that Washington had already imposed on Caracas at the beginning of the year.
Guaido had previously said that he wants to continue the process of dialogue with the ruling party despite the doubts expressed by some of his international allies.
The opposition leader, after hearing the position of US National Security Advisor John Bolton regarding the Norwegian-sponsored talks, acknowledged that he understood “the scepticism shown not only by Ambassador Bolton,” but also by other allies.