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OAS Chief, Venezuelan Exile Blast Opposition-Regime Dialogues as “Farce”

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Nov 29, 2017, 1:42 pm
Frente a Luis Almagro, Ledezma calificó la reunión en República Dominicana como una "parodia" que sólo busca darle tiempo al régimen (Twitter)
The meeting reportedly lasted several hours in Almagro’s office, during which the two spoke about what Ledezma had endured during his time in prison, and the controversial dialogues that are being held between representatives of the opposition and Maduro’s regime. (Twitter)

Español Former political prisoner Antonio Ledezma met with Secretary General of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro this week to discuss the crisis in Venezuela.

The meeting reportedly lasted several hours in Almagro’s office, during which the two spoke about what Ledezma had endured during his time in prison, and the controversial dialogues that are being held between representatives of the opposition and President Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

“I come to speak out for those 30 million citizens who are victims of a hostile regime that has eliminated freedom of expression,” Ledezma said at the end of the meeting. “In Venezuela, having an opinion is a crime.”

Tweet: Today I met with @alcaldeledezma, and we went over the crisis of representation, the economy, social, humanitarian, and political problems that in    

Ledezma had spoken previously on the phone with Almagro about his escape from Venezuela. Since then, he has promised to join the fight for democracy in Venezuela even while abroad. Ledezma said he wants to be a voice for those who are silenced in Venezuela.

He also criticized the negotiations taking place between the Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition coalition (MUD) and the regime in the Dominican Republic.

Ledezma, with Almagro at his side, called the dialogues a “farce” designed to buy time for the regime, adding that the opposition had “fallen for Maduro’s games.”

“There are leaders in the opposition that we need right now, but just as a person has to take antibiotics when he has a virus, I think we also need to cleanse the opposition of a virus to avoid the kinds of disputes that we are now seeing” he said.

At the end of the meeting, Ledezma said Venezuela is being “held hostage by a narco-tyrannical criminal empire,” and asked for additional help from the international community.

Almagro, who has become a prominent international advocate for democracy in Venezuela, also addressed the media anout the topic. He described the dialogue as a “non-inclusive” event because “it did not meet the criteria for many opposition groups.”

He also reiterated that the Organization of American States is dedicated to returning democracy to Venezuela so that it may have transparent, fair elections and no threat of human rights violations.

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.