09:11 GMT +325 February 2018
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    (L to R) The wife of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, Lilian Tintori (C) Freddy Guevara, of the Voluntad Popular party, Jesus Torrealba, head of the Democratic Unity Movement (MUD) party and deputy Julio Borges celebrate after knowing the first results of the legislative election, at the MUD headquarters in Caracas, on the early morning December 7, 2015.

    Opposition Wants ‘National Front’ to Protect Venezuelans’ Rights

    © AFP 2018/ JUAN BARRETO
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Venezuela’s opposition will present a nationwide front to protect people’s rights, its negotiator Julio Borges said Thursday after talks with the government collapsed.

    "We are beginning a series of meetings with political parties and opposition sectors to create a big national front representing the Venezuelan society, which stands firmly on its rights," he said in a statement cited by the Democratic Unity Roundtable party.

    Borges, an opposition leader, said he would embark on a trip to several countries to raise awareness of the political and social crisis in Venezuela ahead of the presidential election.

    The Venezuelan government and the opposition clashed in the Dominican Republic this week over the polling date after authorities pushed it forward to spring. The opposition refused to sign off on a deal, leading to the government unilaterally setting the date for April 22 on Wednesday. The election was initially expected to take place in late 2018 but the government pushed it forward.

    After Venezuela's decision on snap presidential polls, Peru announced it would convene a meeting of the Lima Group of Latin American nations to assess the situation in Venezuela.

    "Given the decision of Venezuelan electoral authorities to call a snap election for April 22, which does not warrant a fair, free, transparent and democratic process, the Peruvian government has invited Lima Group member countries to meet this Tuesday, February 13, in the Peruvian capital, to evaluate measures to respond to the Venezuelan political situation," it said.

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