Some members of Venezuela’s opposition have begun meeting with the government in a Vatican-led attempt to defuse the country’s political crisis. But 15 parties belonging to the Democratic Unity alliance are boycotting the session that began in Caracas, arguing that conditions aren’t right for talks with the government after authorities canceled a recall referendum aimed at removing socialist President Nicolas Maduro from office.
Maduro arrived at a museum in western Caracas to begin the talks. Also present was former Spanish President Jose Luis Zapatero and a Vatican mediator.
The opposition has been stepping up its campaign to force Maduro from office. Last week it rallied tens of thousands of supporters across the country and another protest has been called for Thursday.