Mon, 26 Aug 2019

Venezuelan, OppositionEnvoys Head to Norway for Talks

Voice of America
16 May 2019, 15:08 GMT+10

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido confirmed Thursday he sent a team of negotiators to Norway to help mediate the crisis in the South American country but denied they were in talks with representatives of President Nicolas Maduro's government.

Guaido said at a political rally in Caracas "some envoys in Norway" were "trying to mediate" the political and economic crisis in Venezuela. It was the first official confirmation that talks were being attempted between the two sides after a months-long power struggle.

Representatives of the Venezuelan government and the opposition are in Norway.

Venezuelan officials said Wednesday Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez is representing President Maduro, while lawmaker Stalin Gonzalez is leading the opposition delegation.

Maduro said Rodriguez was on "a very important mission" abroad during a televised speech Wednesday, but did not provide any details.

The negotiations are being held after the military failed to heed a call on April 30 by Guaido to rise up against Maduro. Guaido, the leader of the National Assembly, declared himself president earlier this year after the opposition-majority legislature determined Maduro won another term in a fraudulent election.

The United States and about 50 other countries recognize Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate president. Venezuela has put the U.S. at odds with Russia -- which has supplied military equipment to the Maduro regime -- and Cuba, which the U.S. accuses of placing pro-Maduro troops on the ground in Venezuela.

Also on Wednesday, the U.S. has suspended all commercial flights between the U.S. and Venezuela.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said she, along with the secretaries of state and homeland security, has determined conditions exist in Venezuela "that threaten the safety or security of passengers, aircraft, or crew."

Many international airlines, including those in the United States, have already stopped flying to and from Venezuela because of the political upheaval.

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