Venezuela: OAS Secretary General Urges “Comprehensive Dialogue”


Above: Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza (OAS Photo/Patricia Leiva)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza is urging a “comprehensive dialogue” between the government and the opposition in Venezuela.

Insulza’s comments this week came as clashes continue between Venezuela’s government and protestors.

Insulza said recent events, including continued confrontations and the prosecutions and dismissals of members of the opposition “confirm once again the need for a comprehensive dialogue that includes the government and all opposition figures, along with the representatives of the major social organizations, in order to achieve common answers to the political, economic and social crisis in the South American nation.”

“The conciliatory mission to be undertaken in the coming days by the Ministers of UNASUR is a new opportunity for the parties in conflict to recognize the urgency of agreeing minimum points of understanding that will allow everyone to sit at the table in good faith, and with the confidence that this will not be a purely formal and empty encounter, but one that will address the substantive issues that divide Venezuelan society,” Insulza said.

Insulza also referred to what he called “obstacles that exclude many people from taking part in this effort that should be overcome beforehand.”

“For the government it does not make sense to talk with those who openly deny its legitimacy and pursue its overthrow,”he said. “For the opposition, however, is impossible to do so while some of its leaders are arrested or have their rights ignored.”

The clashes began in January and February of this year, first launching as student protests against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

“Without recognition by the opposition of the existing institutions, and by the government of the legitimacy of the opposition -of all the opposition- the dialogue Venezuela needs today cannot be carried out,” Insulza said. “Once again, to all authorities and Venezuelan political leaders to lay aside confrontation, to assume their responsibilities and seek together a solution that prevents continued deaths and violence, and takes up the hopes of the people of Venezuela who yearn for peace.”