Opposition politician and religious leader Javier Bertucci, who was a former presidential candidate for the Esperanza por el Cambio party, arriving in third place in the last 2018 presidential elections, joined the new national dialogue table, in an agreement signed this Wednesday at the Yellow House, headquarters of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, and transmitted by Venezuelan television. The Venezuelan Vice President, Delcy Rodríguez, and Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza were present at the event.
Bertucci said that “we are in a very delicate situation: either we sit down [and talk] or we kill each other. We cannot in any way pretend to sink the ship to change a captain. As Venezuelans, we need to understand that sitting down to find solutions to the deep crisis in the country is urgent.
He asked that solutions be given to the Venezuelan people as soon as possible, and said that no signs of pride or arrogance can be shown because “no pride can be above the need of the people.” He said that they do not intend to replace any initiative, but that Norway’s initiative must continue.
The evangelical leader expects the government to articulate actions for the benefit of the population, and that “the invitation is open for businessmen, producers and unions to participate.” He asked that the violent and derogatory speech cease.
On the opinion of the US government that this dialogue table meets with a sector of the “marginal and minority” opposition, he said that the table has to generate results and then “we will see if the government of any country can continue to see it in a derogatory way”.
He indicated that, at the table, he will propose to quickly address production and salaries. “We have to understand that the salary is not enough for people to eat, we have to use the cost of the food basket as a basis to have the people with a decent salary, but also articulate with the productive sector, because if we raise wages but not the productive apparatus, we will send all these companies into bankruptcy.” He also asked a humanitarian channel be opened without restrictions, to serve as a palliative for the situation of the Venezuelan people regarding medicine and food.
He pointed out that he cannot force anyone to lift sanctions, that this is a decision of the United States government, but as long as they make those decisions, solutions must be articulated. “With Sudan, 20 years passed before sanctions were lifted. We will not wait 20 years for the people to die, we have to articulate aid for our people, with all diplomatic means.”
When asked about the actions of Juan Guaidó, he was against any violent solutions for his Christian values, although he does agree with “negotiation, election, pacification with respect to our Constitution.”
Rodríguez: We can solve our problems
For her part, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez said that the international community and the country will know in the next few hours “important steps that we will take to give life to this agreement.” She indicated that the majority of the Venezuelan people “felt great satisfaction and joy with the installation of this dialogue table. It is the way! Venezuela does not want war, it does not want them to continue stripping it of its financial resources, nor to continue offering our sacred territory to win favors for transnational corporations.”
She said that the opposition sector “that today throws stones at this national dialogue table” is isolated and “would applaud the day a bomb falls here, something that will never happen. ” The instances of dialogue will allow solving the problems and social injuries caused by the blockade against Venezuela, Rodríguez said.
On the statement of the US government rejecting the new dialogue table, she explained that the government aspires that “there be no solutions for Venezuelans,” which also happened with the delegation led by the opposition both at the Oslo table and at Barbados . “This dialogue table is very important because it is a solution between Venezuelans. We do not need interference; we are able.
“We can solve our problems, and so it will be!” “What we expect from the US government is to have a good judgement, to recover diplomatic channels and dialogue with the government of President Nicolás Maduro. There is no other way, they have failed to overthrow the legitimate and constitutional government of Venezuela, so they have only one way left, which is diplomatic dialogue and negotiation. That is the only way there is”.
The executive vice president said that the economic team of the government was assembled “to continue consolidating the expansion of the productive forces of Venezuela,” as a solution to the economic and naval blockade that the US government makes against Venezuela.
Translated by JRE/EF