Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro praised the success of the dialogue process with the opposition coalition Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) in the Dominican Republic on 1 and 2 December. At the same time, however, he refused to countenance any of the MUD’s key demands, while insisting that it swallow several unpalatable concessions to his government. The talks are taking place against the backdrop of by far the most significant internal conflict within the ruling Bolivarian movement since its late founder Hugo Chávez took office in 1999 as Maduro seeks to consolidate power, buttressed by the military, ahead of a re-election bid this time next year.

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