By Vakkas Dogantekin
ANKARA (AA) - The Venezuelan government and opposition will meet this week in the Caribbean country of Barbados, in yet another effort to resolve the ongoing political crisis in the oil-rich country after the failed Oslo meetings.
"The Venezuelan people, our allies and the world’s democracies recognize the need for a truly free and transparent electoral process that will allow us to surpass the crisis and build a productive future," opposition leader Juan Guaido’s office said in a statement.
President Nicholas Maduro on Friday welcomed the Norway-mediated talks and reiterated his support for all efforts towards constructive dialogue.
Guaido in January proclaimed himself as the rightful president of Venezuela dismissing President Maduro’s 2018 re-election as a fraud, a move recognized by more than 50 states including the U.S.
However, the Venezuelan state institutions as well as the military has been putting their weight behind the elected leader Maduro.
After facing continuous opposition from the army and people challenging his legitimacy, Guaido and his mostly Western allies in May agreed to participate in initiatives in Oslo.
U.S. has been pushing for a regime change in Venezuela since the country's late President Hugo Chavez came to power in 1998 and subsequently won 10 elections.
Born and raised in the barrios of Venezuela in abject poverty, Chavez was seen as a symbol of the popular will and independence from imperial designs in Latin America, representing the underprivileged segments of the society.
He endorsed Maduro before he died of cancer in 2013.