Venezuela’s Pres. and government opposition speak in a rare meeting

CCTV News

A delegation representing some members of Venezuela's opposition held talks with the government of President Maduro. CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas. A delegation representing some members of Venezuela’s opposition held talks with the government of President Maduro. CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas.

A delegation representing some members of Venezuela’s opposition held talks with the government of President Maduro.

The dialogue is aimed at diffusing extreme tension in the country, following the abrupt suspension of a recall referendum against the president. Venezuela is in the midst of the deepest recession in its history.

CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas.

Venezuela's Pres. and government opposition speak in a rare meeting

Venezuela's Pres. and government opposition speak in a rare meeting

A delegation representing some members of Venezuela’s opposition held talks with the government of President Maduro. The dialogue is aimed at diffusing extreme tension in the country, following the abrupt suspension of a recall referendum against the president. Venezuela is in the midst of the deepest recession in its history. CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas.

In Venezuela’s current bitter politics, Nicolas Maduro said he is doing his part to help this process

“I am extending my hand to the Opposition coalition, and I am giving them the opportunity to talk. This isn’t easy,” he said.

The talks were being mediated by the Vatican, along with a team of foreign envoys.

The Pope’s representative was insisting the extreme, sometimes vulgar language of Venezuela’s political discourse be forbidden there.

“In order to maintain and preserve an atmosphere of peace and concord, the government and the opposition have agreed to tone down the aggressive language used in the political debate,” Claudio Maria Celli, Papal Envoy said.

Late on Monday night, some progress was reported. Four working groups will be set up, and attempt to find agreement on issues such as the timetable for elections, and economic policy.

There are plenty of major issues dividing both sides. The senior representative from the opposition highlighted one.

An important opposition party absent from the talks is led by Leopoldo Lopez. He is currently in prison. His party said that given that, and other issues, it cannot participate.

The entire opposition, meanwhile, is putting pressure on the government, saying the next march it organizes will be aimed at the Presidential Palace, this Thursday. That has concentrated minds here, with many fearing a dangerous showdown.

And in a sign of increasing international concern, U.S. Undersecretary of State, Thomas Shannon, has just arrived in Caracas to show support for the talks.