Small Wars Journal

Venezuela's Maduro Offers Talks With Opposition Leader Guaido (Update)

Venezuela's Maduro Offers Talks With Opposition Leader Guaido (Update)

 

Voice of America

 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is inviting opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido to sit down with him and have a "face-to-face conversation."

 

"Let's talk. Let's talk about the problems of the country and the solutions. Politics is not a child's game," Maduro said during an interview with the Spanish television show Salvados.

 

The interview was taped last week and broadcast Sunday.

 

At one point, the interviewer, Jordi Evole, picked up the telephone and called Guaido and Maduro said he would talk with him right then and there. But the call went to a voice mailbox that was full and not taking messages.

 

Maduro said Guaido "should think about what he is doing. He's a young man with a lot of years of fight ahead. He shouldn't hurt the country anymore. He should stop the strategy of a coup and stop simulating a presidency in which nobody elected him."

 

Maduro told the Spanish show that the international media and foreign embassies are the ones spreading the idea of a "parallel government" in Venezuela and said it "doesn't exist in reality.” Maduro said President Donald Trump is "making mistakes" and is going to wind up with blood on his hands.

 

Trump: US Intervention ‘An Option’

 

Trump said Sunday that a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela is "an option." But in comments to CBS, he did not say what would prompt him to send in U.S. forces.

 

He also said he turned down Maduro's request to meet with him "a number of months ago."

 

"I decided at the time, 'no' because so many really horrible things have been happening in Venezuela when you look at that country That was the wealthiest country of all in that part of the world which is a very important part of the world. And now you look at the poverty and you look at the anguish and you look at the crime and you look at all of the things happening. So, I think the process is playing out - very, very big tremendous protests."

 

Maduro Rejects Call For New Elections

 

Maduro rejected an ultimatum from several European countries for him to call for new elections by the end of Sunday or they would recognize Guaido as the country's leader.

 

But Maduro has called for early National Assembly elections. Guaido, as head of Congress, has standing to claim he is the country's legitimate leader.

Guaido has also said he plans to announce when humanitarian aid will be delivered to the crisis-ridden country.

He told supporters that the opposition would start collecting humanitarian aid in Brazil, Colombia and an unnamed Caribbean island and called on the military to allow the aid into the country.

 

The United States has said it would transport aid to Venezuela at Guaido's request. But Maduro has refused to accept aid because he believes it opens the way for a U.S.-led military intervention.