Venezuela's Guaido says 'never' a good moment to negotiate with Maduro

by Reuters
Tuesday, 2 July 2019 21:15 GMT

CARACAS, July 2 (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Tuesday that there would "never" be a good moment to negotiate with President Nicolas Maduro's "dictatorship," ruling out an expected new round of talks to find an exit from the country's crisis.

Guaido and Maduro had both sent representatives to Oslo in May for discussions that Norway's government had encouraged, but they were unable to reach any agreement. On Saturday, people familiar with the talks told Reuters that talks would restart this week.

Guaido on Tuesday said there had been "no official statement that we would attend a new round" of dialogue.

"It is never going to be a good moment to mediate... with kidnappers, human rights violators, and a dictatorship," Guaido told reporters at the opposition-controlled National Assembly legislature, which he heads.

Few details have been released about the talks in Oslo between representatives of Maduro and Guaido, who assumed a rival presidency in January and denounces Maduro as an illegitimate usurper who has overseen a five-year recession.

Guaido's comments came as the opposition expressed outrage over the death last week of Venezuelan navy captain Rafael Acosta in military custody. The captain's wife and rights groups accuse Maduro's government of torturing Acosta and refusing to clarify the circumstances of his death.

Venezuela's chief prosecutor on Monday charged two intelligence officials with homicide in connection with Acosta's death, without explaining how he was killed.

(Reporting by Vivian Sequera; Writing by Angus Berwick; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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