SANTO DOMINGO – Talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition will resume next week after the current round of dialogue ended inconclusively on Saturday in the capital of the Dominican Republic.
At the conclusion of an intense day of negotiations, Dominican President Danilo Medina said the two sides could not reach a definitive decision on the six items on the agenda.
The spokesperson of the Venezuelan government, Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez, said the two sides had agreed on a majority of points, and the remaining they hope to resolve in the next round that will begin on Thursday.
Lawmaker Julio Borges, leader of the opposition delegation, said despite the stalemate, the opposition would not compromise its position as that would only deepen Venezuela’s political crisis.
On Friday, after more than 12 hours of intense but failed negotiations, both sides had agreed to extend the talks to Saturday.
The key demands of the opposition in the dialogue include a transparent electoral system for the 2018 presidential elections, the opening of a humanitarian channel to allow the entry of medicines and food supplies, freeing political prisoners, and restoration of the constitutional powers of the opposition-dominated National Assembly legislature.
The ruling party demands the lifting of economic sanctions that have been imposed on some of its officials and the recognition of the National Constituent Assembly, a plenipotentiary branch of government made up of ruling party members only and not recognized by numerous governments.
The talks were also attended by Medina and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Representatives from Chile and Mexico – invited by the opposition – and from Bolivia, Nicaragua and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – invited by the Nicolas Maduro-led government also participated in the talks.