22:35 GMT +319 January 2018
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    Opposition Parliament Speaker Declines Dialog With Venezuela Government

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    Venezuela’s parliament speaker Henry Ramos has declined reconciliation talks with President Nicolas Maduro amid deepening political crisis, local media said.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — The Socialist-led South American country has been in turmoil since the election of an opposition-controlled parliament in January, which led to a split between the legislature and the judiciary.

    "Do you believe that the leadership of the National Assembly is stupid enough to attempt to settle the conflict with those who are part of it, such as your [Supreme] court?" Ramos was quoted by El Universal news website as saying Monday.

    The Venezuelan government asked the country’s top court last week to stop the opposition Democratic Party’s bid to hold a recall referendum to oust Maduro.

    Public support for the president has dropped to record lows after falling oil prices strained oil-rich Venezuela’s budget, sparking high inflation and product shortages.

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said in May that opposition and government officials were in talks to settle the deepening crisis.

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    opposition, Henry Ramos Allup, Venezuela
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