CARACAS, Venezuela, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Jesus "Chuo" Torrealba, leader of the Venezuelan opposition, on Wednesday said his side would not engage Nicolas Maduro in further negotiations unless the president's regime fulfills previous agreements.
The Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD, opposition coalition began talks with Maduro's regime mediated by the Vatican in late October in an attempt to bring an end to the political crisis that has coincided with an economic breakdown.
In those talks, MUD demanded the release of political prisoners, that the National Assembly unicameral legislature's decisions be respected, that the government properly respond to the victims of Venezuela's humanitarian crisis and that an election schedule be announced.
During a radio broadcast on Wednesday, Torrealba said Maduro's administration agreed with those demands but has not yet complied.
"The MUD, supporting what was said by the Vatican, said that as long as there is no fulfillment of the agreements here, there will be no direct dialogue between the government and the opposition ... and we maintain that," Torrealba said.
Torrealba also said Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin urged Maduro to comply with the agreements in a letter.
Torrealba accused Maduro's regime of using talks as a "mockery" to "waste time for the country and the people" because the "Venezuelan political crisis is based on a very deep economic and moral crisis" that is "eating alive" Venezuelans.
Andrew V. Pestano
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