CARACAS: The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has invited the US President Barack Obama to hold a high-level dialogue for resolving problems between the two countries.
“I call for a dialogue between Venezuela and the United States and its government,” Maduro said in a news conference.
“Let’s initiate a high-level dialogue and let’s put the truth out on the table,” the Venezuelan president said.
However, US Secretary of State John Kerry declined to respond to President Maduro’s offer for talks strongly criticized the Venezuelan president for use of force and violence against anti-government protesters.
“The government’s use of force and judicial intimidation against citizens and political figures, who are exercising a legitimate right to protest, is unacceptable and will only increase the likelihood of violence,” Kerry said in a statement.
The Venezuelan government “has confronted peaceful protesters with force and in some cases with armed vigilantes claiming to support the government,” he added.
Venezuela has been witnessing deadly protests which began last month over mostly economic issues and have left at least six persons dead. The Venezuelan government blamed the western-backed opposition for the deaths while the opposition blames the security forces.