Venezuela’s Maduro vows ‘revolution’ will continue

Caracas, Nov 4 (IANS) The Venezuelan opposition needs to understand that “the revolution is going to continue”, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday while urging his political foes to remain part of the dialogue the two sides began earlier this week.

The revolution begun in 1999 by his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, “is irreversible”, EFE news quoted Maduro as saying in a speech at the presidential palace.

He said that his opponents “must learn to co-exist with the revolution” and to accept the principle of democratic governance.

The leftist head of state went on to accuse the opposition alliance, known as MUD, of looking for “excuses” to abandon the dialogue that got under way last Sunday under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations and the Vatican.

Addressing opposition leaders, Maduro said: “I am the only President of the republic who ensures that you continue existing and the MUD continues exercising its political rights – and you know it.”

Earlier on Thursday, the MUD set several conditions for resuming talks with the government on November 11, including a demand that both sides commit to an “electoral solution” to the nation’s political crisis.

That electoral solution could involve a reactivation of a suspended presidential recall referendum process or early presidential elections, opposition Mayor Carlos Ocariz said.

Maduro responded to Ocariz by accusing the MUD of presenting an ultimatum and creating “false expectations”.

“Nobody can say that in 10 days, if the government does not respond the way they want … they will go to war,” the President said. “Nobody can accept that.”

The purpose of the November 11 session will be to review the findings from the four working groups established during Sunday’s opening of the talks, Maduro said hours after government supporters began pitching tents around the presidential palace, Miraflores.