Chile pulls out of Venezuelan negotiations

‘Indefinite Recess’

SANTIAGO – Chile has withdrawn from the talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition after both sides had failed to reach an agreement.

Danilo Medina, president of the Dominican Republic, which is hosting the crisis negotiations, announced earlier on Wednesday that the dialogue had gone into an “indefinite recess,” given that the two sides were unable to agree a deal.

“As the minimum conditions for a democratic presidential election and an institutional normalization have not been reached, the Government of Chile has decided to suspend indefinitely its participation in the (Venezuelan) dialogue, held in the Dominican Republic,” according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry released on Wednesday night.

The Venezuelan government and the opposition had carried out a new round of talks in Santo Domingo after it was announced that presidential elections would be brought forward to April.

The basic conditions for a fair, democratic poll to be held in Venezuela “had not been reached,” according to the Chilean Foreign Ministry statement.

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The foreign ministry added that Chile appreciated the efforts made by Dominican President Danilo Medina and his foreign minister Miguel Vargas, and called for constitutional democratic order in Venezuela be restored in order for the “social and humanitarian crisis in that country to be urgently addressed.”

Sponsored by Medina and former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the dialogue had support from representatives of the Chilean government at the request of the Venezuelan opposition, while Maduro’s government had invited Bolivia, Nicaragua and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to participate.

The National Electoral Council had announced this week that elections would be held on April 22.

The Venezuelan opposition, which boycotted the last polls held to establish the disputed Constituent National Assembly, has yet to say whether it will participate in the newly announced elections.