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Venezuela leaders must start talks, stop arrests: US

Published on Mar 1, 2014 5:58 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday urged Venezuelan leaders to talk to their own people and stop a wave of arrests as he revealed hopes of finding a way to mediate an end to the crisis.

"It seems to me what has to happen now is for (the) Venezuelan leadership to deal with their own people," Mr Kerry told reporters.

"They need to reach out and have a dialogue, and bring people together and resolve their problems," he said.

"We need a dialogue within Venezuela, not arrests and violence in the streets and persecution against young people who are voicing their hopes for a future." After talks with his Colombian counterpart Maria Holguin, the top US diplomat said Washington was also working with Bogota and other countries to see if some kind of mediation might be possible in Venezuela's political crisis.

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