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After Venezuela sanctions, Maduro halts trip to negotiate with opposition

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Adil Ghaffar
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After Venezuela sanctions, the President Nicolas Maduro has stopped talks with the opposition for the time being. Maduro said Wednesday the trip of a negotiating delegation to the Caribbean island of Barbados, where on Thursday and Friday talks were planned with opposition representatives. Reason is the “heavy and brutal aggression” of the Trump government against Venezuela, it said in a government statement.

US President Donald Trump had the entire assets of the Venezuelan government in the United States frozen on Monday. Caracas condemned the procedure as “economic terrorism”.

The government in Washington is one of Maduro’s harshest critics and has backed opposition leader Juan Guaido in the power struggle in Venezuela. When President Guaido himself declared himself Transitional President in January, the United States was one of the first countries to recognize him. US President from time and again urged for more action besides Venezuela sanctions.

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Maduro and Guaido have fought bitterly for months for power. Representatives of government and opposition had begun in recent weeks, mediated by Norway’s talks in Barbados, to seek a way out of the conflict.

Earlier, the US national security adviser John Bolton called for tougher international action against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro after Washington froze his government’s assets by stepping up pressure on the leftist leader.

John Bolton said at a summit on Venezuela in Lima, capital of Peru, the US authorities could impose more Venezuela sanctions, including foreigners who support Maduro’s government.

“We are sending a signal to any third party who wants to engage in business with the Maduro system: be very careful,” he said.

Bolton called for tougher international action against Maduro, who accused him of demonstrating in negotiations with the opposition to gain more time.

“Time for dialogue is over, it is time to take action, now Maduro has no options,” Bolton said, warning Russia against further support for Venezuela.

Read also: Venezuelan army declares Maduro’s support against US military intervention

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