December 17, 2014
Maduro’s foreign minister to meet Ban Ki-moon
CARACAS — Venezuela said yesterday its foreign minister will meet United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Geneva on Tuesday amid growing international calls for dialogue between political players to ease the OPEC nation’s worst unrest in a decade.
At least 17 people have died in violence during a month of opposition protests. President Nicolás Maduro says his foes are trying to trigger a coup, while his opponents accuse troops and pro-government militants of attacking demonstrators.
Appeals for the two camps to sit down for talks have poured in from leaders around the world, including in the United States, and from Pope Francis.
Venezuela’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Jorge Valero, said yesterday that the secretary general asked for a meeting with Foreign Minister Elías Jaua on Tuesday at the sidelines of a gathering of the UN Human Rights Council.
“He will have the opportunity to explain the policies for peace and promotion of dialogue that the government is pushing, and to denounce the terrorist plans that have been developing in Venezuela,” Valero told Noticias24 Radio in Caracas.
Maduro’s socialist administration blames what it calls opposition-led “fascist groups” for unrest the authorities say is aimed at triggering a coup.