Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Donors pledge millions at Uganda refugee summit

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Depp plumbs depths of bad taste

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

France's new frontman, America's absent center, May's Brexit gambit, Saudi royal reshuffle, after Mosul & Raqqa fall

Read more

REVISITED

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

FARC disarmament a 'historic day' for Colombia, says president

Read more

FASHION

Cruise collections: All aboard for Dior and Chanel's latest fashions

Read more

ENCORE!

Colombia comes to France

Read more

#THE 51%

The last taboo: Helping women and girls. Period.

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

Read more

Opposition in Venezuela in desperate plea to military

© AFP/File | Venezuelan Congress President Julio Borges (C), pictured on May 11, 2017, made an appeal to the military to engage in a candid debate regarding the country's political crisis

CARACAS (AFP) - 

Venezuela's opposition Sunday urged the armed forces to consider dialogue, despite its loyalty to embattled President Nicolas Maduro in the country's deadly political crisis.

"I am appealing to Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez to open the doors of a sincere debate in the armed forces," said Julio Borges, the speaker of the National Assembly, the only opposition-led government body.

Opposition leaders believe Maduro and some of his supporters met this week with Padrino Lopez to rally support for his plan to convene a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution.

"If (key supporters and) Maduro have the right to give a partisan argument to the military on the chaos Venezuela is going through, we ought to have that right as well," Borges argued.

Elected in 2013, Maduro, the handpicked successor of the late long-time leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez, is resisting pressure for an early vote, calling the crisis the result of a US-backed conspiracy. His opponents have branded him a dictator.

Protesters also oppose his plans to elect an assembly -- and do it sidestepping the country's political parties -- to overhaul the constitution, dismissing it as a way to put off elections.

Increasingly violent near-daily protests that began April 1 have left a toll of 38 dead, and hundreds wounded and under arrest.

Dozens of mothers dressed in black were out on Caracas's streets Sunday to mark a Mother's Day of protest, hours after violent unrest in the towns of Caja Seca and Pueblo Llano.

© 2017 AFP