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Venezuelan opposition leader says ready for dialogue with Maduro, cooperation with Russia

Guaido insisted on holding free elections in the Latin American country

TASS, July 5. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has said in an interview with France 24 TV channel he is ready to hold dialogue with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to find a solution to the ongoing crisis and also expressed readiness to cooperate with Russia.

Guaido said the opposition "could hold talks with the dictator," but called for continuing demonstrations and exerting diplomatic pressure on Caracas. The politician noted Norway’s role of a mediator in ironing out the crisis in Venezuela, but stated that so far the talks have been deadlocked. "If we are able to use it [negotiating platform] as a means to ease tensions…no doubt we are going to use it," he said.

In comment on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that there is the need to stick to democratic procedures and decide on Venezuela’s future through elections, Guaido said he and his allies carefully listen to "what the Russian and French leaders said and say." "Certainly, we are ready to work with the Russian president and all other presidents on this issue," he said.

Guaido insisted on holding free elections in the Latin American country. "We will participate in these elections, which will be attended by international observers," he said, noting that the current crisis in Venezuela flared up over Maduro’s refusal to hold this voting in 2018.

Last Saturday, the Associated Press news agency reported citing three sources that Venezuela’s authorities and the opposition could resume talks. These negotiations could take place on the Caribbean island of Barbados. However, on July 2 Guaido said his supporters were not planning to again take part in the talks with representatives of Maduro’s administration.