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State Department Nixes Oslo Talks on Venezuela, Insists They Can Discuss Only Maduro’s Ouster

May 28, 2019 (EIRNS)—In a May 25 statement, the State Department arrogantly declared that any talks in Oslo between representatives of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition will be a waste of time, unless they focus on only one topic—Maduro’s ouster. “We hope the talks in Oslo will focus on that objective, and if they do, we hope progress will be possible,” the statement read.

Similar arrogance was on display today in Geneva, when Robert Wood, U.S. ambassador to the UN’s Conference on Disarmament, walked out because Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge Valero was chairing the meeting. Wood huffed and puffed that nothing legitimate could come out of the meeting as long as it were chaired by a “rogue state.” Some Ibero-American members of the so-called Lima Group also boycotted the meeting.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov countered this high-handedness in a May 27 press conference with visiting Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla. Talks in Oslo, which will recommence this week, are positive and are what Russia has also advocated, he said, citing the example of the Montevideo Mechanism, created at the end of last year, which urged dialogue and non-intervention. Nicolas Maduro has always been willing to talk, Lavrov stated; not so with “interim” president Juan Guaidó, whom he described as a State Department puppet.

Rather than show respect for the 2014 declaration of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which proclaimed Ibero-America to be a “zone of peace and harmonious coexistence,” the U.S. is exercising the politics of “diktat and power politics” which have failed miserably, Lavrov commented. The U.S. administration, he said, is doing “everything it can to turn ideological differences between individual governments into a political and even a military confrontation.” In a separate statement, the Foreign Ministry “called on all states involved in the Venezuela situation to support the launch of the political process in the form of talks among the country’s major forces, refraining from issuing ultimata to Venezuela’s leadership.”

Loud statements by some members of the Venezuelan opposition, denouncing the Oslo talks, indicate there’s no unified stance on this, but someone in the leadership gave the okay for the talks to proceed. Venezuelanalysis.com news site reports that, unlike the first round of talks in mid-May, the current round was expected to involve face-to-face meetings.

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