Maduro spoke today on the new set of talks between his regime and the opposition, which are currently taking place in Barbados. He called the first set of meetings “very auspicious”, and gave a few details about the content of the talks.
Maduro explained that the talks are “not focused on only one topic”, but instead six, including social and economic ones. He did not provide any more information regarding the substantial points of the talks.
On the potential results of this new round of talks, Maduro said that he was certain that “partial agreements” would soon begin to be announced, and that he considered that “the time has come to reach an agreement” with the opposition.
Maduro has often sounded optimistic about and fully disposed to engage in talks with the opposition, only to see the talks between the two sides fail without any kind of agreement.
At the same time as he expressed his optimism for the talks, Maduro also accused the opposition of coming to the talks in Barbados with “untempered” arguments and “a few lies”, and that he was sure that they would “correct themselves quickly”.
This new set of talks come just days after a damming report from the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights outlined the systemic human rights abuses committed by the Maduro regime, including the torture, arbitrary detention, murder and persecution of political rivals.
Minister of Prisons Threatens to Unleash Army of Prisoners in Case of Invasion
Minister of Prisons Iris Varela suggested in an interview published by InsightCrime today that she had at her disposal an army of prisoners that she could unleash on an invading force if the need her came.
During the interview, Varela was asked about comments made by the former head of the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (National Bolivarian Intelligence Service, SEBIN), Christopher Figuera, that Varela had requested 30,000 rifles to create a private army of prisoners.
Varela responded to the question by saying:
Do you know how many weapons we’ve confiscated in the prisons that we’ve closed since I came to this position? Many, thousands of weapons of all calibers. And I’ve handed over all of them. So, if I needed [weapons], I wouldn’t have to ask for them. If I wanted weapons, I’d have enough.
Varela followed up her apparent denial of the story with the assertion that she had at her disposal thousands of prisoners whom she could use to help fight off an invasion of Venezuela. She said:
If they [the United States] threaten us with 5,000 marines, we have 45,000 prisoners. Not 30,000. So I’m correcting that idiot [Figuera].
Last month, The Washington Post published an interview with Figuera in which he claimed that during a meeting between Varela and Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Varela asked him for 30,000 rifles “to start her own private army”.
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