Venezuela leaders must start talks, stop arrests: US

Anti-government demonstrators protest in eastern Caracas on February 28, 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday urged Venezuelan leaders to talk to their own people and stop a wave of arrests as he revealed hopes of finding a way to mediate an end to the crisis. “We need a dialogue within Venezuela, not arrests and violence in the streets and persecution against young people who are voicing their hopes for a future.” After talks with his Colombian counterpart Maria Holguin, the top US diplomat said Washington was also working with Bogota and other countries to see if some kind of mediation might be possible in Venezuela’s political crisis. His spokeswoman Jen Psaki later confirmed that Washington was hoping to find a “third party mediator” but that the US, which has difficult ties to Venezuela, was not planning to take on the role.

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