Maduro open to talks to end political standoff in Venezuela
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/30/19, 10:30 am
Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday said he is open to talks with his opponents after a more than weeklong stalemate over the legitimacy of his government. Maduro told the Russian state-owned RIA Novosti news agency he would participate in negotiations mediated by international players, including Bolivia, Mexico, Russia, Uruguay, or the Vatican. “I’m willing to sit down for talks with the opposition so that we could talk for the sake of Venezuela’s peace and its future,” he said. Maduro also accused U.S. President Donald Trump of asking the Colombian government and the mafia to kill him.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president last week, continued to ramp up pressure on Maduro’s government, calling for a two-hour, nationwide walkout on Wednesday. The Venezuelan Supreme Court imposed financial restrictions and a travel ban on Guaidó over his challenge to the government after the United States sanctioned Venezuela’s state-run oil company and gave Guaidó control of the country’s accounts in U.S.-insured banks.
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton warned Maduro’s government: “There will be serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaidó.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.