Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro walked out of talks with President Juan Guaidó just as “there was a proposal at the table,” the head of Guaidó’s delegation claimed on Monday.
National Assembly Deputy Stalin González accused Maduro of walking out of talks in Barbados for “fear of change,” despite there being a proposal on the table.
González did not elaborate on the discussions in adherence to the guidelines set out by the Norwegian government, who are brokering the talks. However, he insisted that his team will “be where they have to be, in the framework of the Constitution, seek an agreement that will put an end to the suffering of Venezuelans.”
On the prospect of holding another round of talks, González said that there is currently no “new date” although they remain in “permanent contact with the facilitators.”
Maduro had previously canceled talks with the opposition following the Trump administration’s recent round of sanctions against the socialist regime that froze all Venezuelan state assets in the United States, as well as those of individuals or entities understood to be providing them with material support.
In a press release, the regime accused Guaidó of “celebrating, promoting, and supporting harmful actions against the sovereignty of our country, and [against] the most elementary human rights of its inhabitants” over his alleged support for sanctions imposed by the United States.
González appeared to affirm the opposition’s affinity for the United States, where the Trump administration is leading efforts to remove Maduro from power and instigate a transition to democracy.
“The entire western world has its eyes on Venezuela,” he said. “Obviously the United States is the greatest ally that the Venezuelan people have and the real sanction our people face is that Maduro remains in power.”
Guaidó has legally been president of Venezuela since January, when Maduro’s term expired. Maduro insists that the fradulent May 2018 elections that he won against only communist candidates allows for his continued presence in the presidential palace and he has refused to give up control of the nation’s military, making it impossible for Guaidó to enact his mandate.
Past attempts at negotiation have all ended without resolution. Guaidó at one point claimed that he had given up negotiating with such a “deadly dictatorship,” a widely popular stance among Venezuelans, but returned to talks shortly after. Maduro has previously been more optimistic about the talks than the opposition, embracing them as an opportunity to give himself a false sense of legitimacy within the international community, the majority of whom have called for him to step down while recognizing Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president.