Government and opposition agree on road map to resolve crisis in Venezuela

The Venezuelan government and the opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) held talks on 11 and 12 November 2016 and agreed on a road map to resolve the country's political and economic crisis. The sides released a joint statement with five steps, including combating sabotage and boycotting in the economy and providing the country with food and medicine. The road map also includes naming two new rectors on the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), resolving the situation of the unseated deputies from Amazonas state by holding new elections, and addressing the supreme court's declaration of contempt of law in the legislature. The parties also committed to prioritizing Venezuela's right to the Esequibo, an oil-rich territory disputed by Guyana, coexisting in peace, and inviting one governor representing each side to the discussion table (Globovisión). 

No announcements were made about holding national elections or feeing political prisoners, two key demands for the opposition. After presenting the joint declaration about the road map, MUD General Secretary Jesús Torrealba reiterated the previous agreements with the government, but added that detained persons would be liberated, and commented that in future meetings, the opposition would insist on the right to settle this situation with a popular vote (Tal Cual). Efecto Cocuyo noted analysts found the government imposed its perspective on the second round of talks, as shown in the avoidance of the term "political prisoners," the failure to mention new presidential elections, and acknowledging that the legislature is in contempt of the law. If Venezuelans conclude the MUD gave up too much in this dialogue session, the talks could lose their legitimacy just two weeks into the formal negotiation process. Both sides will next meet on 6 December.