BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Venezuela government has withdrawn from talks with the opposition to protest the decision by the United States to impose new sanctions on the Maduro government earlier this week.
Last week, Norway said representatives of the Venezuelan government and the opposition would continue to hold talks here in an effort to find a solution to the economic and political crisis in the South American country.
“Τhe parties have reiterated their willingness to advance in the search for an agreed-upon and constitutional solution,” Norway’s Foreign Ministry said then.
Norway has been acting as a mediator to end the political crisis that has gripped the South American country ever since Opposition Leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president and received the backing of several western countries led by the United States.
President Nicolas Maduro, who has the backing of Cuba, China, and Russia, was sworn into office for a second consecutive term earlier this year and has rebuked Guaido’s attempt at unseating him.
But the Trump administration earlier this week announced that it was freezing the US assets of the Venezuelans government.
“We Venezuelans have watched with profound indignation how the chief of the opposition, Juan Guaido, celebrates, promotes and supports these harmful actions against our nation’s sovereignty and our peoples’ most basic human rights,” the government said in a statement.
The statement stopped short of stating that Caracas would abandon the talks, adding it would “review the mechanisms of this process to ensure its continuation is truly effective and harmonious with the interests of the people”.
Maduro said that while he favours dialogue, he will not stand by idly as his opponents cheer on punitive measures by Washington that he believes will worsen hardships in the country.
“Under these conditions, no,” he said promising to lead a “counteroffensive” from the constitutional assembly to “bring justice to the sellouts and traitors.”