Venezuelan opposition urges Maduro to resume talks

Talks meant to resolve the crisis in Venezuela faced a new setback this weekend.

Negotiations were put on ice by President Nicolas Maduro after one of his aides, Colombian businessman Alex Saab, was extradited to the U.S.

Now opposition negotiators are urging Maduro's government to come back to the table.

"The deep humanitarian crisis that is affecting our people, the millions of Venezuelans who have had to emigrate in search of a future that the country does not provide, as well as the non-existence of democratic institutions that follow the constitution, cannot wait any longer."

Dozens of protesters called for Saab's release on Sunday, including his wife.

Maduro's ally was extradited from Cape Verde on Saturday on corruption charges stemming from 2019.

Saab had been under arrest in the African nation since last year.

But just last month, Venezuela's government named him one of their negotiators in talks with the opposition.

His inclusion in the team was widely seen by Maduro's critics as an attempt to delay Saab's extradition.

Maduro on Sunday called it a 'kidnapping'.

"They sought him out and they removed him with blows, from the jail he was held. They took him without advising his lawyers or his family. Nobody. A kidnapping by the United States government of an international diplomat."

The Norwegian-sponsored talks have so far not made any headway toward resolving longstanding divisions.

But Norway on Twitter also urged Maduro's government to return to talks, saying it was the only solution.

A majority of Venezuelans have been plunged into poverty, suffering gasoline shortages and frequent power blackouts.

Millions have emigrated in search of work and better living conditions.

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