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Venezuela's Maduro 'ready for talks' with opposition

Jan. 30, 2019 11:08 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2019 1:06 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The socialist leader, Nicolas Maduro, said on Wednesday he was reportedly “ready to sit down for talks” with the opposition led by Juan Guaido and open to the possibility of third countries mediating.

In an interview with Russia's RIA news agency in Caracas, Maduro made his remarks as the struggle for control of Venezuela intensified with the government preparing an investigation that could lead to the arrest of Guaido, who has called for new street protests.

Venezuela was plunged into political turmoil last week after the United States, Canada, and a dozen countries, mostly Latin American, such as Brazil, Colombia and Argentina recognized Guaido as acting president and his claim to the presidency, while Russia continued to back Maduro.

Maduro said, "I am ready to sit at the negotiation table with the opposition for us to talk for the benefit of Venezuela, for the sake of peace and its future."

As the news agency asked Maduro about the possibility of third countries mediating the situation, he said, "There are several governments, organizations globally, which are demonstrating their sincere concern about what is happening in Venezuela, they have called for a dialogue."

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