SANTO DOMINGO – Dominican President Danilo Medina announced on Thursday that talks on establishing a dialogue between representatives of the Venezuelan government and members of that country’s political opposition will continue on Sept. 27, after concluding two days of discussions and meetings in Santo Domingo.
At the close of the session on Thursday, Medina announced that the parties had agreed to create a commission comprised of several countries to continue following up on the groundwork laid so far.
Representatives from the Venezuelan government and the country’s political opposition on Thursday in Santo Domingo resumed discussing how to engage in a dialogue to resolve the Venezuelan crisis.
The meeting began at the Foreign Ministry after the arrival of Medina, who made no comments to the press.
At the end of the first day of talks on Wednesday at the same location, Medina had said that both parties had made their positions known and confirmed that “there is much willingness to arrive at some kind of negotiations.”
Medina added that “they are in the process of constructing an agenda that can lead to definitive negotiations on the crisis.”
The first meeting on Wednesday was marked by tight secrecy and held after a long day of contacts and discussions.
Before that encounter, the mayor of the Caracas municipality of Libertador, Jorge Rodriguez, the representative of President Nicolas Maduro at the talks, told reporters in a Santo Domingo hotel that “we are at a key moment for moving closer to a definitive agreement.”
Rodriguez thanked the Dominican president for his invitation to meet and talk, along with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero for resuming the dialogue in Venezuela, which has been the scene of violent anti-government protests that have left more than 100 people dead since April.
On Wednesday, the opposition, who – it was announced from Caracas – is represented by lawmakers Luis Florido and Timoteo Zambrano, the head of Parliament, Julio Borges, and opposition leader Manuel Rosales, did not make appear before the press.
The Venezuelan opposition continues to be reluctant to engage in a new dialogue process with the Maduro government.
To agree to such talks, the opposition is demanding that the government establish an electoral agenda including a firm date for the presidential elections scheduled for 2018 as well as release all “political prisoners,” among other things.
The talks began after Zapatero and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas on Tuesday issued an urgent call to begin a dialogue.