The ruling PSUV party and the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) bloc met today in the Dominican Republic for a controversial set of talks that are scheduled to last into tomorrow. The talks mark the first time since November of last year that the two bitterly-divided sides have formally met.
Today’s meeting began at 2:30 PM. It included representatives from both the PSUV and the MUD, as well as representatives from Chile, Mexico, Bolivia, Nicaragua and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The involvement of international observers was one of the pre-talk demands made by the MUD, and is meant to keep both sides honest during the dialogue.
National Assembly president Julio Borges said earlier today from the Dominican Republic that the point of the talks was to find “immediate solutions” to the crisis affecting the country. In particular, Borges said that the MUD hopes to be able to secure the flow of food and medicine into the country, as well as the release of political prisoners in the country and guarantees of a free and fair presidential election next year.
The PSUV’s negotiation team is made up of Delcy and Jorge Rodriguez, Roy Chaderton and Elias Jaua. The MUD negotiators are Julio Borges, Vicente Diaz and Luis Florido.
Jorge Rodriguez spoke briefly prior to the start of the talk. His comments reflect the PSUV’s stance on the Venezuelan crisis; that it is entirely the fault of the Bolivarian Revolution’s foreign and domestic enemies. Rodriguez said:
We are going to listen to what the opposition came here to say, but we came here to demand the immediate stop to all of the economic aggression against Venezuela.
Maduro welcomed the start of the talks through his Twitter account. In an unprecedented move, Maduro thanked the MUD bloc for participating in the dialogue. Below, Maduro’s tweet along with my translation:
Thank God we have done it the Dialogue Table in the Dominican Republic for Peace and Prosperity [sic]… Thanks to President Danilo Medina,to [sic] Rodriguez Zapatero and to the Friend Countries [sic]..Thanks to the MUD for their collaboration…Dialogue and Peace Guarantee the Future…[sic]
Below, some images from today’s meeting:
While details on the outcome of today’s meeting are scare, Dominican president Danilo Medina said that today’s negotiation had been fruitful, and that tomorrow’s talks would begin at 9:00 AM.
North Korea Offers Venezuela Financial Consulting Help
The world’s most repressive dictatorship offered the Maduro regime assistance in the form of financial advice during a meeting at the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) this past Wednesday. The meeting was attended by the North Korean ambassador to Venezuela, Ri Sung Gil.
News of the meeting broke through the BCV website yesterday.
According to the BCV, ambassador Ri met with BCV president Ramon Lobo that day, and the two talked about “the importance of both nations sharing their experiences defending the construction of socialism”.
BCV director Jose Salamat Khan Fernandez spoke highly of the North Korean economy, and suggested that Venezuela had a lot to learn from the Asian nation. Khan said:
We should learn from the socio-productive experience of North Korea (…) We as a people can start a process to re-industrialize the economy of our country and depend less and less on other hegemonic countries (…) We have the human resources, the land and the capital.
For his part, ambassador Ri had words of warning for Venezuela. He said:
Venezuela has geopolitical importance, raw materials, many natural resources, oil and water. The United States will not leave Venezuela in peace until it takes control of the country’s resources.
North Korea is arguably the most brutal dictatorship on the planet. Firmly under the control of the Kim family since 1948, the North Korean regime operates a network of hellish concentration camps reserved for individuals who deviate even the slightest from the country’s official policies.
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