The third dialogue talk between the Venezuelan government and opposition has produced more results, while the armed forces have largely “liberated” another city from militant opposition street barricades.
During last night’s peace talk between prominent members of the government and the opposition’s Democratic Unity Table (MUD) coalition, the opposition agreed to designate two representatives to the Truth Commission.
The Commission is a proposal by President Nicolas Maduro to investigate “all” acts of political violence that have occurred during the opposition’s recent protests, riots and street barricades. The actions have affected civil life since early February, but have reduced in intensity in recent weeks.
The Truth Commission will also have parliamentary representatives from the government’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and “respected” members of civil society.
Another agreement which is advancing is the replacement of 11 Supreme Court (TSJ) judges and 3 National Electoral Council (CNE) rectors whose terms of office have expired. New appointments will be nominated by a parliamentary committee which will have both government and opposition representatives. The nominations will then need to be approved by a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.
Some radical opposition groupings are boycotting the process. The Project Venezuela party, which has 3 of the opposition’s 66 National Assembly seats, has said it doesn’t want to “legitimise totalitarianism” … //
… Barricades Down:
Yesterday Venezuelan armed forces and police dismantled the majority of remaining barricades in the Andean city of Mérida, one of the focal points of the unrest. The barricades had shut off schools, universities, medical centres, supermarkets and the main bus terminal. All four of the deaths to occur in the city during the unrest also appear linked to the barricades.
Nearly two thousand officers and hundreds of volunteers were involved in the operation, while residents clapped the effort on. A few local residents were also filmed holding up placards in opposition to the action.
Mérida is one of the last urban areas still affected by the barricades, which at their peak affected the functioning of normal life in up to eight Venezuelan cities.
Army and police units will maintain a deployment in the city in the coming days to prevent the barricades from being re-erected.
Last night Maduro declared that the street barricade strategy has been “defeated”. Addressing the barricade militants through national media, he said, “We have defeated you, the people have defeated you, you are left isolated and repudiated”.
The Venezuelan president also accused the opposition of having “tried to sabotage my first year in government every day…without truce,” but described the previous year as one of “permanent work with the people”.
The video below was filmed and edited by Mérida based community TV station Tatuy, recording the dismantling of the barricades in the city.
Watch the video in spanish: Guarimberos Temblad: Guardia Nacional Bolivaria …, 2.04 min (also on YouTube).
Democratic Unity Table MUD (Spanish: Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, MUD) on en.wikipedia is a Catch-all electoral coalition of Venezuelan centrist, centre-left, left-wing and some center-right political parties formed in January 2008 to unify the opposition to President Hugo Chávez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2010. A previous opposition umbrella group, the Coordinadora Democrática, had collapsed after the failure of the Venezuelan recall referendum, 2004 …;
The Enemy of Your Enemy is Not Always Your Friend, on Zmagazine, by Zoltan Grossman, April 23, 2014;
Ukraine Timeline LIVE UPDATES; on Russia Today RT, April 15-26, 2014;