CARACAS, April 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced his agreement to meet for talks with leaders of the country’s opposition as the anti-government rallies continue raging in the country for about two months.
His decision came after a meeting on Monday with a commission of the foreign ministers of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) member states. Maduro met the council members at the Miraflores Palace, the official workplace of the president of Venezuela. Following the meeting, which lasted over an hour, Maduro announced that he was ready to meet on Tuesday with representatives of the opposition’s Democratic Unity Roundtable, adding that the meeting would serve “the Venezuelan people as a message of peace and unity.” Maduro also said that the doors of the presidential palace are always open for everyone and wished all Venezuelans “love, respect and tolerance.”
Up to 40 people have been already killed as a result of mass protests, which started gathering steam in mid-February. According to the Venezuelan Prosecutor General’s Office, a total of 608 people, who included 414 civilians, were injured in clashes between the anti-government protesters and police forces. Venezuelan President Maduro called the protests an attempt at a government coup, adding that the United States authorities allegedly allocated an annual of $5 million to oppositionists in Venezuela.