Maduro announces ‘Day of Dialogue’ to rectify mistakes, addresses crowds on May Day
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced a “day of dialogue” to be held over the weekend, in an effort to fix some of the mistakes his government has made “since the Revolution.”
Addressing a crowd in Caracas during the International Labor Day celebrations, the president accused the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido of trying to trigger a civil war in Venezuela.
“The Venezuelan coup leaders not only deceived themselves, but also deceived US imperialists, saying that I was going to leave the country,” Maduro said, referring to statements from Washington that he was about to flee to Cuba.
“What would have happened if we had confronted those coup plotters? A massacre among Venezuelans, we would have killed ourselves and in Washington they would have celebrated,” he said.
If Guaido, the self-proclaimed “interim president,” really wants to reach the Miraflores Palace, all he has to do is win an election, Maduro said.
He called on his supporters to make proposals to “rectify mistakes” that have been made by the government, and to address the US-imposed sanctions.
“We are going to a great day of change, of rectification, of revolutionary renewal. I am counting on you!” Maduro told the crowd.
The way to settle differences is “constitutionality and respect,” Maduro argued. It was unclear whether his offer of dialogue extended to Guaido and the coup-plotters, however, as the president said he would “name the traitors” in the coming days.
During the speech, Maduro also appealed to the people of Venezuela not to allow the “fracturing” of the revolutionary ideology and the “just cause” he is defending.
“I will never betray the people of Venezuela, I will never surrender to imperialism,” he said.
Scattered demonstrations and clashes between opposition supporters and police continued around Caracas on Wednesday, but with far less intensity than Tuesday’s abortive coup.
Guaido had urged the military to seize power and his supporters took to the streets to clash with police, but his “Operation Liberty” fizzled within a few hours, with Guaido’s mentor Leopoldo Lopez requesting asylum in the embassy of Chile, and about two dozen members of the Venezuelan military that backed the opposition fleeing to the embassy of Brazil.
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