A minority faction of the opposition and the Maduro regime have begun a set of controversial talks today, spread across three working groups that will meet to discuss the situation in the country today. The faction includes representatives from the Moviento al Socialismo (Move Towards Socialism, MAS) and Avanzada Progresista (Progressive Advance, AP).

The talks–which will focus on elections, political participation and economic matters–are taking place within the framework of an agreement reached between the Maduro regime and a small segment of the opposition forces back on September 16. The agreement was soundly rejected by the majority of the country’s opposition forces, including their leader, Juan Guaido.

Today, Maria Verdeal, the vice-president of MAS, reiterated her call for Guaido to lead the rest of the opposition towards the negotiating tables. She said:

Why don’t you sit at the table? Is it that hard to understand? This would be the best message that we could send to Venezuelans.

Primero Justicia Calls for New Protests

The Primero Justicia [Justice First, PJ] issued a call today for more protests against the Maduro regime.

The call came via Elimar Diaz, one of PJ’s deputies at the National Assembly, who said during a press conference that ordinary Venezuelans had a duty to exert pressure on the Maduro regime via street protests. She said:

That responsibility is on each and every Venezuelan that wants change and transformation in our country. This is urgent–we live calamities each day. Venezuela is traversing a very difficult situation.

During the press conference, Diaz highlighted the plight of the residents of Zulia state, who routinely go without any electricity for days at a time. She said:

Us Zulianos [residents of Zulia state] have lived through 26,000 blackouts. 26,000 interruptions to electrical service, both planned an unplanned (…) we cannot allow all of Venezuela to become Zulia state.

Jose Felix Ribas Neighbours Protest Against FAES

Neighbours from the Jose Felix Ribas neighbourhood of Petare, Caracas, took to the streets today to protest against the brutality of the Fuerzas de Acciones Especiales, an infamous police organization that terrorizes urban poor communities.

According to a journalist who was at the scene of the protest, the demonstrators were asking for the Maduro regime to declare their neighbourhood a “Peace Zone” to prohibit further police operations there.

The protesters blocked a local road with a track and a barricade made out of trash bags and other rubble. Below, some images from the scene:

The FAES featured heavily in the report by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet on the Maduro regime’s abuses. In the report, the High Commissioner documents “numerous extrajudicial executions” by the FAES, and recommends that the organization be dissolved.

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