Política 17-07-2017

UN chief calls for "urgent" dialogue between Venezuelan government and opposition

The Venezuelan government and the opposition must dialogue "urgently" to end the violence that has left 95 dead amid anti-government protests repressed by security forces, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday.

"There is a need for a national agreement between the government and the opposition with two main objectives: to eradicate violence, abuse, fanaticism and preserve a concerted constitutional path" Guterres said in a statement two days before a plebiscite that the opposition wants to celebrate against the Constituent Assembly convened by the President, Nicolás Maduro.

The secretary general of the UN insisted that the solution should be reached among Venezuelans and that the only possible way is a political agreement between government and opposition.

"There will be no solution if we want to impose an exit. The outcome is the agreement, with elections, respect for fundamental rights and respect for constitutional powers," Guterres said in Spanish, without specifically mentioning the plebiscite.

"The exit should only be between Venezuelans and the international community should support peaceful paths and political agreement. Only politics will allow hope to return to Venezuela" he said.

The violent daily protests that have taken place against the government for almost four months have deepened the chaos and political crisis in the South American country.

Maduro promotes a Constituent Assembly as the only way out of the political and social upheaval and the economic collapse of Venezuela.

But the opposition considers it a "fraud" with which the ruling party seeks to perpetuate itself in power after 18 years of Chavez government and will go to the polls on Sunday for a symbolic plebiscite against the proposal.