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Venezuela pledges solidarity with Nicaragua

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VENEZUELA has “strongly condemned” right-wing opposition violence in Nicaragua, pledging its solidarity with the Nicaraguan people and its government.

The Bolivarian government denounced right-wing opposition groups for their attempt to “seize power by undemocratic means” and urged the international community to promote peace instead of conflict in the country.

In a statement released yesterday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza warned against the “use of violence for political purposes” and said “the only way to guarantee peace and reconciliation is through dialogue and not the irrational use of force.”

Mr Arreaza said Venezuela felt the loss of life “deeply and painfully” after six members of the same family were killed when their house was set on fire in an arson attack in the Karl Marx district of the capital Managua over the weekend.

He warned the international community against backing the opposition groups that are seeking to oust Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, calling on them to support the Sandinista government-initiated peace talks.

Violence flared over the weekend despite the resumption of the National Dialogue mediated by Nicaragua’s influential Catholic Church.

Armed opposition gangs went on the rampage attacking Sandinista supporters, including two men who were burned using petrol and tyres.

They are demanding Mr Ortega resigns, setting up roadblocks across the country with bosses holding a 24-hour general strike last week in an attempt to cripple the economy.

Fernando Gonzalez, one of the Cuban so-called “Miami Five” who spent 15 years in a US prison after defending the socialist country from attack, warned on Saturday of “an offensive by the centres of imperialism” against Latin American governments, including Nicaragua.

Mr Ortega has agreed to the establishment of a Truth and Security Commission in a bid to restore peace in Nicaragua where at least 170 people have been killed since unrest started in mid-April.

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