Venezuelan Opposition Claims Norway-mediated Dialogue ‘is Over’

Venezuela’s opposition said on Sunday a dialogue mediated by Norway’s Foreign Ministry to try to resolve the country’s political crisis had ended, six weeks after President Nicolas Maduro’s government suspended participation, Reuters writes.

The talks, most of which had taken place on the Caribbean island of Barbados, began after opposition leader Juan Guaido led a failed military uprising in April against Maduro, who is accused of human rights violations and has overseen an economic collapse that has prompted millions to flee.

Maduro’s representatives walked away from the table in August to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s tightening of sanctions on the OPEC nation. Critics of the dialogue within Venezuela’s opposition coalition argued that Maduro was negotiating in bad faith and used the talks to buy time.

“The dictatorial regime of Nicolas Maduro abandoned the negotiation process with false excuses. After more than 40 days in which they have refused to continue, we confirm that the Barbados mechanism is finished,” Guaido’s office said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, invoked Venezuela’s constitution in January to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate. He has been recognized as Venezuela’s rightful leader by dozens of countries, including the United States.

However, Maduro, who calls Guaido a coup-mongering U.S. puppet, has held on to power despite a deepening economic slowdown and growing international isolation. The military has not abandoned him despite repeated calls by the opposition to do so, and he retains the support of Russia and China.

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