Venezuela’s opposition says that it will not return to talks with the government of President Nicolas Maduro focused on alleviating the country’s economic woes.
The last round of Vatican-sponsored negotiations broke down in December after Venezuela’s main opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), accused Maduro of bad faith.
“The dialogue cannot be seen to be a joke, a way of wasting the country's time," said MUD leader Jesus Torrealba during a radio broadcast on Wednesday.
He added that a round of talks initially scheduled for Friday had been canceled. Torrealba, however, noted that the coalition was prepared to meet with the Vatican intermediaries.
Venezuela’s opposition has been demanding a recall referendum against President Maduro or that the date of the presidential election slated for December 2018 be brought forward.
The crash of oil prices in 2014 triggered an economic crisis in Venezuela, leading to severe shortages of basic supplies and soaring inflation. While the center-right opposition holds Maduro’s administration responsible for the country’s economic woes, the Venezuelan leader has blamed everything on a US-sponsored conspiracy.