Guaido says no new talks planned on Venezuela crisis

Caracas (AFP) –


Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido said Friday that Norway's effort to mediate in the standoff with the government of President Nicolas Maduro had stalled and no new talks were planned.

"At the moment there is no meeting planned," Guaido told supporters during a speech in the northern city of Valencia.

Representatives of Guaido and Maduro met face-to-face in Oslo last week as part of talks mediated by Norway aimed at resolving the country's political deadlock, which began in January when Guaido proclaimed himself interim president.

The two sides had earlier met separately with Norwegian officials.

Guaido, who is recognized by more than 50 countries including the United States, emphasized that the aim of the talks was the establishment of a transitional government and the organization of free elections.

"If these talks do not bring us closer" to those objectives, he said, "they are useless."

Millions have fled the economically-devastated country suffering shortages of food, medicine and other essentials.

Guaido told reporters he would let them know in due course if and when a new round of talks is scheduled.

He also responded to reported comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that divisions within Venezuela's opposition were hurting efforts to oust Maduro.

"In reference to what the Secretary of State Pompeo said... yes, there have been differences here, yes of course we have had them."

But he added that gradually they were overcoming them, "because we are united around one cause."