CARACAS – Venezuelan politician Leopoldo Lopez, who is under house arrest, said on Monday that he did not attend the dialogue meetings between the Nicolas Maduro government and the opposition as the president claimed, a denial seconded by the opposition leader’s party, Voluntad Popular.
“You know very well @NicolasMaduro that I did not attend any meeting. I am unjustly imprisoned, first in a military prison, now in my home,” said a tweet posted on Lopez’s Twitter account that is managed by his wife Lilian Tintori.
Voluntad Popular (VP) also denied “categorically” Maduro’s assertion since its “national coordinator and prisoner of conscience, Leopoldo Lopez, has not attended any meetings to do with what the dictatorship calls a dialogue.”
On Sunday, Maduro said Lopez attended meetings between the opposition and the government, adding that a “dialogue” is underway, although anti-government forces say it is merely an “exploratory” process.
In response to Maduro’s remarks, opposition lawmaker and negotiator Luis Florido on Sunday denied that Lopez had attended those meetings.
Despite that, Lopez reiterated his “readiness to converse with all due respect in order to end the crisis that all Venezuelans are going through.
Lopez’s party has told the Venezuelan government that a process like it is promoting “has to be serious,” and said that the endless slander by Nicolas Maduro aims to do nothing more than delegitimize and discredit the MUD opposition coalition and its leaders like Leopoldo Lopez.”
For Lopez, “the talks must take place without manipulation and with transparency and respect for the country and the international community,” as he said on Twitter.
This week, representatives of the Venezuelan government and the opposition met in the Dominican Republic for a series of meetings that anti-Chavistas have described as “exploratory,” while the ruling party insists on calling them a formal and evident process of dialogue.
These negotiations, initiated in the Dominican Republic, are scheduled to continue next Sept. 27.