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Russia calls on US to support national dialogue process in Venezuela — Foreign Ministry

Moscow notes some stabilization of situation in Bolivia, the diplomat revealed

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. The United States should support the emerging process of national dialogue in Venezuela, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

She pointed out that the Venezuelan people had begun to take steps to resolve issues based on the principles of inclusiveness and consent. "We would like to call on our colleagues in the US administration to be realistic in assessing the situation," Zakharova said. "There is a need to assist efforts to expand the national dialogue, boosting the emerging process of national reconciliation guided by the Venezuelan people," she added.

In May, Oslo hosted several rounds of indirect talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, brokered by Norway. The latest round of consultations took place in Barbados in July.

On September 15, the Venezuelan government and some opposition members agreed to establish a national council for dialogue for the parties to hold talks on a wide range of issues. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced later that the country’s authorities were ready to resume the Norway-brokered talks any time.

Situation in Bolivia

The situation in Bolivia has stabilized in the last few days, the ultimate resolution of the national political crisis depends on whether the interim authorities can abandon the strategy of aggressive statements, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told the briefing.

"We are registering certain stabilization of situation in this country [Bolivia] in the last few days. These developments came through the offices of Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General [for Bolivia Jean Arnault]," she noted.

The diplomat added that Bolivia now has a chance to resolve the political crisis and return to at least relative stability. "To what extent this opportunity will be seized depends primarily on whether interim authorities and politicians, including those who have already announced their intention to run for presidency, can abandon aggressive rhetoric aimed at opponents and representatives of indigenous people as well as low income earners," Zakharova underlined.

Bolivia's presidential election was held on October 20. The country's Supreme Electoral Court declared that incumbent President Evo Morales won the first round. His main rival, former President Carlos Mesa, refused to recognize Morales' victory. After the results of the election were announced, protests and strikes erupted across the South American country. Morales declared a state of emergency in Bolivia. On November 10, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation, branding the developments as a coup d’etat. He stepped down following the demands of the country’s armed forces, opposition and trade unions. Former Vice President of Bolivia Alvaro Garcia Linera also slammed the developments as a coup as well as the speakers of both parliament chambers who, in accordance with the constitution, were next in line of succession to assume the interim presidency. In that situation, senator and second Vice-Speaker of the Senate of Bolivia Jeanine Anez who represents opposition declared that she had assumed the presidency until a new election is held and appointed a new cabinet of ministers.

On November 23, both Bolivian parliament chambers approved the bill drafted by the interim government to hold a new election. Anez underlined that "it was hard to achieve consensus to unanimously adopt the legislation."