Venezuela government, opposition representatives travel to Norway for possible talks

Representatives of Venezuela’s government and the opposition have traveled to Norway to discuss potential options following a failed coup against President Nicolas Maduro, according to four opposition sources familiar with the situation.

The trip suggests the two sides may be seeking a fresh approach after the repeated failure of dialogue between the opposition and the ruling Socialist Party amid a steadily escalating political crisis.

In earlier talks this year, the country’s top government officials will create a transition government that will not include Maduro, according to U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Those efforts fell apart after opposition calls for Venezuela’s military to rise against Maduro on April 30 failed, according to the opposition sources.

The military has remained loyalty to Maduro, who describes the April 30 events as a coup plot. Sources said Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Miranda state Governor Hector Rodriguez of the Socialist Party both traveled to Oslo. Opposition legislator Stalin Gonzalez, along with political advisers Gerardo Blyde and Fernando Martinez have also gone to Norway.

Norway’s foreign minister said as early as March that it was prepared to act as a mediator or facilitator of talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.

No meetings have yet been held, and the parties will meet separately with Norwegian diplomats, one of the sources said.

Maduro, in a speech broadcast on state television on Wednesday evening, said Jorge Rodriguez was “completing a very important mission abroad,” without giving more details.

Source(s): Reuters