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Venezuelan govt, opposition talks on ice, says Dominican president
11 February 2018, 05:08 | Floyd Cook
Talks have been facilitated by Unasur in the Dominican Republic
The elections were originally scheduled for December.
The National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela announced Wednesday the holding of early presidential elections on April 22, in which president Nicolas Maduro assures he will win reelection until 2025, with or without opposition, reported dpa news.
Medina said the opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable, known by its Spanish acronym MUD, was asking elections be held in June, while the government requested they take place in March.
Venezuela's opposition was to huddle on Thursday and debate whether to participate in a controversial April presidential vote despite the barring of its best two candidates and an electoral board favoring President Nicolas Maduro. Chavez, who died of cancer five years ago, is also barely featured in Maduro's campaign, unlike in the 2013 election where Maduro pitched himself as the "son" of the former president.
"Victory is ours!" said Maduro in the televised broadcast, during which he danced and embraced supporters. Its two most popular leaders are...
Medina said Maduro had expressed "the desire to continue dialogue", but the opposition delegation "did not understand" that the signing of the final peace agreement would take place on Tuesday in front of global observers. The opposition had called for guarantees from the government, including the release of political prisoners and the reinstatement of politicians who had been barred from office.
The date for the elections was announced hours after the failure of the negotiations held by representations of the Government and the opposition coalition in the Dominican Republic, with the facilitation of an global group made up of Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Medina, on Wednesday, told reporters "In any case, we will send (the government) the document the opposition submitted to us ... but not with the expectation that they are going to respond". The government, meanwhile, accused opposition leaders of taking orders from Washington to abort the talks.
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The US responded by slapping Venezuela with sanctions targeting the financial and energy sectors of the oil rich nation. However, the Pentagon denied that it had been tasked with devising a potential military scenario for Venezuela.
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