- The boycott is in protest of US's latest sanctions on the Maduro regime.
- The opposition delegation was already in Barbados in readiness for the talks.
- Venezuela Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino wants Venezuelan's in support of US sanctions in the country arrested to face the law.
The Venezuelan government has officially distanced itself from participating in the new round of talks with the opposition held in Barbados, the Caribbean. The mediation efforts are being spearheaded by Norway, and initially scheduled to take place on Thursday (today) and Friday. The late Wednesday decision by the Maduro Government came a day after the United States announced sanctions on individuals and companies negotiating with the Venezuelan Government.
“Due to the serious and brutal continuous aggression perpetrated by the Trump government against Venezuela, which includes the complete blockade of our economic, commercial and financial activities, while noting with deep indignation that the head of the opposing delegation Juan Guaidó celebrates, promotes and supports these actions (…) we decided not to participate in the meetings scheduled for August 8 and 9,” says the official note.
According to the note issued by the Minister of Communication, Jorge Rodríguez, “Venezuela is willing to revise the mechanisms of the process.” The announcement was made when the opposing delegation was already in Barbados. The opposing delegation in Barbados regretted and criticized Maduro’s decision. “They’ve been saying for days they believe in peace and the Oslo mechanism, but at the first sign of change, they fear the possibility of a real political change in the country,” lawmaker Stalin Gonzalez, the head of Guaidó’s negotiating team in Barbados, said on social media. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, however, did not comment on the decision.
Moments before the announcement, President Nicolás Maduro had criticized the step America took and said on national radio and TV that he is “prepared for this fight (…) in which Venezuela will be victorious, overcoming aggressions and blockades.” The Venezuelan president has described the decision of President Donald Trump’s government as “economic terrorism.”
During the day, Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino demanded that those in Venezuela promoting US sanctions against the country should be made to face the law. “Enough of impunity!” Wrote Padrino on Twitter. “Those who began this ‘game’ of calling for sanctions for the nation…With bastard, political aims should be punished with the law.”
Earlier, thousands of Maduro supporters marched in Caracas, protesting the blockade of assets. Dressed in red with Venezuelan and Maduro party flags, protesters gathered in front of a stand in the center of the capital to hear pro-Maduro speeches from top government officials.