SANTO DOMINGO – Dominican President Danilo Medina announced on Wednesday that the dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition he is facilitating in Santo Domingo has gone into “indefinite recess,” given that the two sides were unable to agree on a definitive accord.
At a press conference after a meeting with the opposition, attended by former Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who is also facilitating the dialogue, Medina said that a document had been drafted including the fact that general elections would be held in Venezuela on April 22, adding that it was to have been signed on Tuesday.
However, when the two sides were unable to agree on a definitive accord, “the dialogue is now going into a kind of indefinite recess,” Medina said.
The opposition, Medina said, on Tuesday had asked for more time to review the document, but it then presented an alternative proposal on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “says that he will only sign the document from yesterday,” said Medina, who added that in any case the opposition’s new document will be sent to Caracas “but not with the hope that (the government) is going to respond.”
Medina said that Maduro had told him, however, that he was ready to implement “all the agreements ... contained in the document that the government signed yesterday” even without an agreement with the opposition.
The Dominican leader went on to say that, due to political commitments, the Venezuelan government delegation to the talks had returned to Caracas on Tuesday night, adding that “We don’t know where the fact that the parties haven’t been able to arrive at an understanding will lead,” and saying that the two sides will have to return to the dialogue table “because there’s no way for an understanding between (the groups) other than through dialogue.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Zapatero had spoken of the “absolute and pressing need for there to be an agreement” between the Venezuelan government and opposition.
He said that any other alternative to an agreement would be “extraordinarily negative” for Venezuela and Latin America, noting that these are “decisive hours” and that the Venezuelan opposition needed to make a “vital decision” at this time.
Zapatero also said that “nobody, either inside or outside Venezuela, has suggested an alternative plan to a reasonable agreement for going into an election process and for respecting democratic coexistence.”
Chief opposition negotiator Julio Borges earlier on Wednesday reiterated on Twitter that he and his delegation would not sign any document that is not “worthy” of the Venezuelan people.