Latin America & Caribbean

Venezuela's parliament delays trial of President Maduro

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (right) at a meeting between Venezuela's government and opposition leaders for Vatican-backed talks, 30 October 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (right) has accused MPs of attempting a coup

Venezuela's opposition-led parliament has delayed the symbolic trial of President Nicolas Maduro, which was due to take place on Tuesday.

The speaker for the National Assembly said the decision was aimed at easing the country's political crisis.

An opposition march on the presidential palace planned for Thursday has also been postponed.

President Maduro is accused of violating the constitution but claims MPs are attempting a "coup".

The decision to delay the trial follows Vatican-sponsored talks between the two sides, and the release from prison of three anti-government activists.

Last month a referendum process seeking to remove Mr Maduro was suspended after the government said that the vote was meaningless.

What is behind the crisis in Venezuela?

Mr Maduro has dismissed the trial as invalid and has vowed to jail participants of any attempt to overthrow his government.

A former bus driver and union leader, Mr Maduro is blamed by the opposition for Venezuela's dire economic situation. The oil-rich country is facing widespread food shortages and spiralling inflation.

The opposition has been trying to hold a recall referendum that would allow Mr Maduro to be removed from office.

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