A diplomat who represents Venezuela‘s opposition leader in Washington, DC, said on Tuesday talks on ending the political impasse in the South American country will resume again this week.
Carlos Vecchio, who represents opposition leader Juan Guaido, did not give a day or location for the talks with representatives of embattled President Nicolas Maduro. Vecchio said in a speech Tuesday in Washington, DC, that
Speaking at the National Press Club, Vecchio said he is hopeful that talks will resolve the crisis by year’s end. He also said Maduro an “an obstacle for peace” and said he must leave office.
The two sides held Noway-mediated talks for several days earlier this month in Barbados.
Guaido contends Maduro’s re-election last year was invalid and wants early presidential elections. In January, the opposition leader, invoked the constitution to declare himself interim president – a move Maduro rejected.
Maduro accuses the opposition of stirring up violence, and with the backing of the United States attempting a coup.
Russia to skip international talks on Venezuela
Separately on Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Moscow will not be participating in international talks on the political crisis in Venezuela due to be held in Peru next month.
It said it declined the invitation as one was not extended to representatives of the government of Maduro, among other concerns.
Peru invited China, Russia, Cuba, the US and dozens of other countries earlier this month to discuss the situation in Venezuela in Lima on August 6.
China, Russia and Cuba support Maduro, while the US and more than 50 other western countries have recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.
Three million have left the country since early 2016, fleeing hyperinflation, unemployment and food and medicine shortages.
A quarter of Venezuela’s 30 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations.