Venezuela, Opposition Bent on Results in Talks on Unrest

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Venezuela’s government and opposition, holding talks to address the root causes of months of deadly protests, are determined to achieve results, an opposition leader said Thursday.

Speaking after a fourth session of negotiations, Ramon Aveledo said the two sides had agreed to establish commissions to work on specific issues such as amnesty for more than 100 people arrested in the protests and alleged abuses by police.

The unrest broke out in February and has left 41 dead and some 600 injured as students and other angry Venezuelans denounce rampant crime, inflation, widespread shortages and other economic woes under President Nicolas Maduro.

For example, inflation is now running at an annual rate of nearly 60 percent, the Central Bank said Thursday.

Anti-government protests have continued sporadically in pockets of eastern Caracas, which tends to be well off and anti-Maduro.

Maduro was elected to take over from the late populist firebrand Hugo Chavez last year after he died of cancer.

“If anything comes out of this meeting strengthened it is the conviction that we the people of Venezuela must live together. We do not have a spare country,” Aveledo said.

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