Venezuelan officials and opposition meet mediators over standoff

The opposition is calling on the Venezuelan government to allow international relief supplies of food and medicine into the country where a crippling economic crisis has left major shortages of basic foodstuffsVenezuelan officials and opposition members have held separate secret meetings in the Dominican Republic with a group of former world leaders attempting to mediate the country’s spiraling political crisis, officials said. Representatives of both sides of Venezuela’s political standoff met former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, former Dominican president Leonel Fernandez and Panama’s ex-president Martin Torrijos “in recent days” under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, to seek a “framework for a national dialogue,” the organization said in a statement.

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