Venezuelan government, opposition resume talks in Barbados – CBC News

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The Venezuelan government and the opposition are resuming talks aimed at ending the political crisis in their country, the country’s information minister said Monday.

Jorge Rodriguez said on Twitter that he and the rest of the government’s delegation have arrived for negotiations in the Caribbean nation of Barbados, where several days of talks were also held last week.

Rodriguez was flanked by representatives including foreign minister Jorge Arreaza and Miranda state Gov. Hector Rodriguez in the video message. Chief opposition negotiator Stalin Gonzalez earlier confirmed that his delegation was returning to Barbados for talks mediated by Norway.

Negotiations between the adversaries have collapsed in previous years and major issues remain contentious. Opposition leader Juan Guaido contends President Nicolas Maduro’s re-election last year was invalid and wants early presidential elections. The government accuses the opposition of fomenting violence.

As the political dispute drags on, Venezuela is sinking deeper into an economic and humanitarian crisis that has led millions of people to leave the country in recent years.

Also Monday, a small group of demonstrators gathered outside a United Nations office in Caracas to protest alleged torture of anti-government activists by Venezuela’s military intelligence unit.

Delsa Solorzano, an opposition lawmaker, said some detainees had been denied food and medicine, and that their conversations had been recorded during prison visits by family members. The Venezuelan government did not immediately comment on the allegations, though it has said a UN report chronicling torture, sexual abuse and extrajudicial killings by government security forces is inaccurate.

Last week, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s military intelligence agency, which is accused of torturing to death navy Capt. Rafael Acosta in custody last month. The sanctions appear to be largely symbolic because they prohibit Americans’ dealings with the agency, which likely has few already.

Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell said Monday that the talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition were a priority, but that they should not be a “shield against sanctions” for Acosta’s killers and others involved in violence and repression.

The United States had already imposed wider sanctions on Venezuela to try to dislodge Maduro, compounding hardship in a country whose economy, including its key oil industry, has been in sharp decline for many years.

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The Publisher: Juan Rodulfo, Defined by Nature: Planet Earth Habitant, Human, Son of Eladio Rodulfo & Briceida Moya, Brother of Gabriela, Gustavo & Katiuska, Father of Gabriel & Sofia; Defined by the Society: Venezuelan Citizen (Human Rights Limited by default), Friend of many, Enemy of few, Neighbor, Student/Teacher/Student, Worker/Supervisor/Manager/Leader/Worker, Husband of Katty/ Ex-Husband of K/Husband of Yohana; Defined by the US Immigration System: Legal Alien; Defined by the Gig Economy: Independent Contractor Form 1099; Studies in classroom: Master Degree in Human Resources Management, English, Chinese Mandarin; Studies at the real world: Human Behavior; Studies at home: Webmaster SEO, Graphic Web Apps Design, Internet & Social Media Marketing, Video Production, You Tube Branding, Trading, Import-Exports, Affiliate Marketing, Cooking, Laundry, Home Cleaning; Work experience: Public-Private-Entrepreneur Sectors; Other Definitions: Bitcoin Evangelist, Human Rights Peace and Love Advocate. Author of: Why Maslow: How to use his theory to stay in Power Forever (EN/SP), Asylum Seekers (EN/SP), Manual for Gorillas: 9 Rules to be the “Fer-pect” Dictator (EN/SP) Social Media profiles: Twitter/FB/Instagram/VK/Linkedin/Sina Weibo: @rodulfox