Venezuela: Vatican-backed talks are ‘last chance’ for peace


The BBC reports on talks between Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition, which, according to US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon, are the “last best effort” to finding a peaceful solution to the country’s political impasse:

US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon said if the talks failed, it could lead to both sides “putting people on the streets”. He said such a result would be very dangerous. It comes after President Maduro rejected calls for an early election. “From our point of view [the dialogue] really is the last best effort to try to find a negotiated, peaceful solution to this,” said Mr Shannon.

He added that it would “unpredictable and can be very dangerous” if Venezuela found itself in a state where either side had to “measure themselves through their ability to put people on to the streets”.

Mr Shannon’s comments come at the end of a week that saw the progress which had been made at the talks, mediated by a Vatican envoy and former international leaders from Spain, the Dominican Republic and Panama, slowly fall apart.

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