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Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro says he is open to dialogue
Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro says he is prepared to participate in a sovereign and constitutional dialogue process to agree on a national agenda of peace and understanding.
Maduro's announcement comes from Thursday’s meeting in the Uruguayan capital attended by the European Union, eight other European countries and five Latin American nations.This meeting was an initiative called by Mexico and Uruguay as a “neutral countries” conference on Venezuela.
During the meeting, Maduro announced his support for the four-phase plane as proposed by the Montevideo Group.
This initiative has since snowballed into a meeting of a ”Contact Group” that was put together by the EU in late January, later joined by Costa Rica, Bolivia and Ecuador.
Although Maduro had rejected an EU ultimatum to organize snap presidential elections, he welcomed today’s meeting and expressed support for “all steps and initiatives to facilitate dialogue”.
Maduro has been under increasing pressure as 40 countries to date have accepted opposition leader Juan Guaido’s self-proclaimed role as interim president until new elections are called.
In an effort ease the growing shortages of food and medicine across Venezuela, Guaido has organized an emergency delivery of humanitarian aid.
But with a continued loyalty to Maduro, the army followed his orders to block the entrance of aid, where reportedly soldiers had blocked a key border bridge into the country.
He says such delivery of humanitarian aid would only open up the country to a US military invasion.
Maduro continues to receive support from China, Russia, Turkey and Cuba.