The so-called talks between the government and the official opposition started, with the blessings and attendance of a Vatican special envoy, former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the former presidents of Panama and the Dominican Republic, Martín Torrijos and Lionel Fernández,
Part of Venezuela’s opposition resumed talks with the government of President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday, with a recall referendum on his mandate topping their list of demands. Maduro shook hands with representatives of the opposition MUD roundtable, saying at the Vatican-sponsored dialogue in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas: “I am absolutely committed to these peace processes, I offer my hand to the MUD… We are prepared to listen to them.”
In exchange, five prisoners were released,
The five men released on Monday were: Avanzada Progresista (Progressive Advance) party leader Carlos Melo, opposition political advisers Andres Moreno and Marco Trejo, student leader Andres Leon, and Angel Coromoto Rodriguez, who was the security chief for National Assembly leader Henry Ramos Allup.
In a case of “she said, he said,”
Asked if the release was such a sign of goodwill, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez told news agency Efe “yes”.
She also said that Sunday’s talks had been “constructive” and “respectful”.
Opposition leader Jesus Torrealba on the other hand had described the meeting as “arduous, intense and brusque”.
Bear in mind that the regime has invalidated the recall referendum results while you ponder this:
The two sides agreed to form four working groups to discuss broad topics such as confidence-building measures and strategies to ease Venezuela’s dire economic crisis.
Leopoldo López, in case you are wondering, will remain in jail for the foreseeable future, since he’s not playing along. His wife Lilian Tintori tweets,
“I’m very proud of Leopoldo’s stance: Today there are no conditions for dialogue”
Leopoldo’s tweet: “In Venezuela the conditions for dialogue won’t come from a dictatorship’s concessions; they’ll come from popular pressure.”
Hoy me siento muy orgullosa de la posición de Leopoldo: en Venezuela no hay condiciones para un diálogo. pic.twitter.com/9dXtpZ5Upt
— Lilian Tintori (@liliantintori) November 1, 2016
— Fernando Amandi Sr. (@FernandoAmandi) October 31, 2016
Of course! The Obama administration sent Tom Shannon to meet with Maduro (h/t TS).
I predicted as much sixteen months ago.