Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó has said that he will not be rejoining talks in Norway that were designed to bring a peaceful end to the recent conflict in Venezuela. The talks sought to break the deadlock between the US-backed Guaidó and the democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro.
Despite opposition figures originally being said to be willing to adjust some of their positions at the May talks, the original discussions made little progress as Guaidó repeated his calls for “regime change”, a position that was wholly unacceptable to the representatives of the Maduro government as an affront to democracy.
Guaidó has called for further “street protests” after the failure of the talks on May 29 and, at a rally over the weekend in the city of Valencia, is quoted as saying that more talks are “not on the table today. Why not? Because if anything that does not move us towards (Maduro’s resignation) is useless.”
The oppositions refusal to come to the table without regime change is a position entirely in line with U.S. policy toward Venezuela, Guaidó having met with Trump administration officials to discuss his attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government. Opposition officials stated prior to the Norway talks that Trump was “committed” to their cause.
Despite his actions against his own country, including leading a coup and attempting to engineer an armed foreign invasion, Juan Guaidó amazingly remains freely at large and able to broadcast his calls for insurrection and democratic subversion to a national audience. Despite this freedom, he remains no nearer to either attaining the presidency or inspiring a disinterested population in his attempts to seize power.
While the government have shown spectacular restraint against Guaidó, several of his allies in the attempted coup have since been arrested, 14 standing accused of crimes such as treason and conspiracy.
The Oslo talks were arranged in March after Norway announced it was willing to act as a mediator for talks between the elected Venezuelan government and U.S.-backed opposition in an effort to avert bloodshed and end U.S. sanctions which have crippled the people of Venezuela.
Speaking after the failure of the talks last month, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the Venezuelan government remains committed to peace.
“After important working days in Oslo, the Government of the Kingdom of Norway reports on progress in the process of political dialogue between the Venezuelan Bolivarian government and Venezuela’s opposition. We thank Norway’s efforts for peace”