Venezuelan dialogue process stalled

Jesús Torrealba, leader of the Venezuelan opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), stated on 23 November 2016 that talks between the opposition and the government were frozen after the government refused to show up at negotiations on 22 November (Taul Caul). According to Efecto Cocuyo, the government did not attend two of the dialogue's technical commissions after the legislature passed an accord on 22 November. The accord denounced abuse of state power after the 18 November conviction of two of First Lady Cilia Flores' nephews in a conspiracy to traffic 1,760 pounds of cocaine into the United States. 

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro contradicted the MUD's statements on 27 November by asserting that he would not allow anyone to leave the negotiation table, committing to continue talks throughout 2017 and 2018 (Panorama). In response, Torrealba on 29 November said the government is showing extreme irresponsibility by following its criminal strategy of stalling the dialogue to gain time. Torrealba added that if the dialogue does not yield concrete results, the MUD will have to evaluate its participation in talks scheduled for 6 December. As both sides accuse each other of failing to comply with the dialogue process, it appears ever more likely that the talks could fizzle out just one month after the opposition and the government agreed to meet to resolve Venezuela's crisis.