Addressing some 6,500 troops in the northern state of Aragua on Friday, Maduro said he had sent his Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Miranda state Governor Hector Rodriguez, for talks with representatives of the opposition in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. The European country had offered to act as a mediator.
“The talks have begun nicely to move toward agreements of peace, agreement and harmony, and I ask for the support of all Venezuelan people to advance on the path of peace,” he said.
He said the oil-rich country “has to process its conflicts” and seek solutions “by way of peace.”
The president hailed the “good news” hours after Norway said it had made “preliminary contacts with representatives of the main political actors of Venezuela.”
Norway, which referred to the talks as “exploratory discussions,” started the mediation to bring to an end a months-long crisis that plagued the nation after opposition figure Juan Guaido declared himself interim president right after Maduro won his second six-year term in January.
The UN said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that he was “very much supportive” of the Oslo talks.
Guaido also confirmed on Thursday that he had sent a delegation to Oslo, but denied that any direct negotiations had taken place.
He said Oslo “is trying to mediate” in the crisis, however, the opposition won’t enter into any “false negotiation.”
‘Venezuela govt., opposition reps head for talks in Norway’Delegates from the Venezuelan government and opposition purportedly travel to Norway for resolution talks.
The opposition accuses Maduro of using past negotiations to buy time and was not sincere about making concessions.
Guido, the speaker of the now-defunct Venezuelan National Assembly, has said any diplomatic process must lead to the end of Maduro’s government.
He orchestrated a coup against the government Maduro on April 30. Early on the day of the coup bid, a small group of Venezuelan armed troops accompanying Guaido clashed with soldiers at an anti-government rally in the capital, Caracas, in an attempted coup. Gunfire was heard, and more than 100 people were reported wounded.
The putsch quickly petered out, though, and some 25 renegade soldiers sought refuge at the Brazilian Embassy in Caracas.