Jose Miguel Insulza, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, spoke on the situation in Venezuela today to reporters from the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Insulza specifically addressed the issue of the stalled dialogue between the opposition and the government. While Insulza characterized the talks as “indispensable” to finding a solution to the crisis, he also said:
The opposition cannot come to the table when many of its leaders are in jail, who – even though they might not want to attend the talks – are still part of the opposition.
First of all, a dialogue means that – aside from talking – you listen. You listen to the reasons other have, and you are willing to make concessions to find a middle ground.
He characterized the talks that took place between the opposition and the government earlier this year as “monologues”, and that the only way forward for the country was to hold a meaningful and sincere, true dialogue. Inzulsa also had dire words for the country:
Venezuela is clearly a divided country. A country divided in half, if those halves are not joined, is really bad for the country for many years to come. We’ve learned that the herd way, at a high cost.
Tintori: No Democracy in Venezuela
Lilian Tintori, Leopoldo Lopez’s wife, spoke to the media today regarding her husband’s situation, and the condition in which Venezuelan democracy finds itself today. Tintori said:
In Venezuela, human rights are constantly violated: every time we line up to buy food, when we got to the hospital and they can’t take care of us – or a relative dies – because there’s no medicine, when he have prisoners of conscience like Enzo Scarano, Daniel Ceballos and Leopoldo Lopez. There’s no democracy in Venezuela while we have prisoners of conscience…
The mother of Geraldine Moreno – a victim of the violence that shook the country earlier this year – was alongside Tintori this afternoon when she made her comments, saying:
We are not afraid. Venezuela is ours, and it belongs to us. To all the mothers, I say this: let us unite together in this fight, which belongs to us all. I did not ask to be here. My daughter, Geraldine, put me here, and I move forward in her name. I am not a ghost: my daughter is here, and so am I. In Venezuela, our principle right is being violated, which is our right to raise our voices.
Geraldine Moreno was killed on February 22 of this year while attending an opposition protest against the government.
Opposition Leaders Distance Themselves from Violence
The mayors of El Hatillo and Metropolitan Caracas, David Smolansky and Antonio Ledezma, respectively, clearly and concisely denounced any kind of violence in the name of the opposition cause.
The men made the comments after being linked by the government to Lorent Saleh, a Venezuelan man currently facing terrorism charges.
After being asked if he personally knew Saleh, Ledezma said:
Knowing Gomez Saleh does not mean I’m part of the network of terrorist supported by ex-Colombian president Alvaro Uribe to destabilize Venezuela.
Smolansky, who was linked to Saleh by the government, made a similar comment, saying:
… I’ve been accused for two years of supporting plans to destabilize the country. But I have nothing to do with that, and nothing to hide.
Venezuelans Hold Rally in NYC
A group of Venezuelans held a demonstration in New York City today against the Maduro government. They were joined by Carlos Vecchio, a leader of the Voluntad Popular opposition party. Vecchio was forced to flee Venezuela in June after the government warned against his imminent arrest.
Below, some pictures of the demonstration:
Vecchio, in the centre wearing white, poses with demonstrators: