Both Venezuela’s Opposition and US Reject Peaceful Negotiations

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has reached out to Pope Francis, asking for his help to bring about a peaceful solution to the crisis in Venezuela. Maduro is facing increasing international pressure to resign from office two weeks after opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself to be Venezuela’s interim president. Guaidó made the announcement on January 23 after speaking to US Vice President Mike Pence, who offered support from the Trump administration. Since then, a growing number of countries have openly recognized Guaidó’s claim to the presidency, including Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden. Italy has blocked a European Union statement recognizing Guaidó, and Ireland and Greece have called for new elections but have not recognized Guaidó’s claim to the presidency. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan opposition and the United States have rejected an offer by Mexico and Uruguay to host talks between the two sides. We speak to David Smilde, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America and professor of sociology at Tulane University. And in California, we speak to Miguel Tinker Salas, professor at Pomona College and author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela and Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know.

TRANSCRIPT

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has reached out to Pope Francis, asking for his help to bring about a peaceful solution to the crisis in Venezuela. Maduro is facing increasing international pressure to resign from office, two weeks after opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself to be Venezuela’s interim president. Guaidó made the announcement on January 23rd after speaking to US Vice President Mike Pence, who offered support from the Trump administration. Since then, a growing number of countries have openly recognized Guaidó’s claim to the presidency. On Monday, Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden all voiced support for Guaidó, after…

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