World Venezuela's Maduro aims for dialogue with opposition in August
Cuba Protests Could Presage Brighter Regional Future | Opinion
Were the protests to topple the regime, the benefits could prove transformative within and beyond Cuba. In the 2021 edition of Freedom in the World, pro-democracy NGO Freedom House labeled Cuba "not free" in terms of political rights and civil liberties. It reported that "Cuba's one-party communist state outlaws political pluralism, bans independent media, suppresses dissent, and severely restricts basic civil liberties." Over the last year, the regime expanded "interrogations, threats, detentions, raids, and exorbitant fines" against journalists and activists, and prevented more of them from traveling abroad.
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that he was aiming to begin a dialogue with the country's political opposition next month in Mexico facilitated by Norway, a process he hoped the United States would embrace.
In May the opposition changed strategy and indicated its willingness to return to negotiations to resolve the political crisis in OPEC member Venezuela.
Maduro has overseen an economic collapse in once-prosperous Venezuela since taking office in 2013, and stands accused by his domestic opponents, the United States and the European Union of corruption, human rights violations and rigging his 2018 re-election. Maduro denies the accusations.
Biden must rally US allies, stand with Cuban people
The protestors' chants of “freedom” and “down with the dictatorship” reflect decades of the Cuban people’s desire for human rights and freedoms , long denied them by the longest-surviving dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere. In a brutal response typical of authoritarian governments, President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel ordered security forces to the scene and incited his followers to violently oppose the peaceful protests - orders they enthusiastically carried out.
In June, top diplomats in Washington, Brussels and Ottowa said they would be willing to revise their sanctions on Maduro's government if the dialogue with the opposition led to significant progress toward free and fair elections.
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"I can tell you that we are ready to go to Mexico," Maduro said in an interview on the state-funded Telesur television network late on Saturday. "We have begun to discuss a complicated, difficult agenda."
Venezuela's opposition, led by Juan Guaido, has accused Maduro of using previous rounds to buy time in the face of diplomatic and sanctions pressure by the United States and others. Guaido is recognized by Washington and several other Western democracies as the country's rightful leader.
Opposition groups have said they are willing to negotiate the conditions for presidential and parliamentary elections with Maduro's government.
Maduro, in turn, has said he wants the negotiations to focus on the lifting of U.S. sanctions targeting the financial and oil sectors.
He added that the negotiations would include "all the oppositions," a reference to opposition politicians who broke with Guaido's call to boycott the 2020 parliamentary elections, which were won handily by Maduro's ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
(Reporting by Vivian Sequera; Writing by Luc Cohen; editing by Grant McCool)
Tunisia's Ghannouchi calls for return to democracy .
Tunisia's parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi, in an interview with AFP, has called for a return to democracy after President Kais Saied's shock power grab at the weekend. "If there is no agreement on the return of parliament, on the formation of a government and its presentation to parliament, the Tunisian street will undoubtedly mobilise and we will invite the Tunisian people to defend their democracy. "He (Saied) put locks on parliament, a tank at its door, that's a very serious error to say the least.