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Venezuela Government, Opponents Resume Talks Amid Stalemate

Demonstrators shout slogans against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Los Teques on the outskirts of Caracas, Sept. 7, 2016.

Venezuela's opposition and the government have held backdoor negotiations as the two sides retrench in their positions for and against a referendum on cutting short President Nicolas Maduro's term.

Opposition leaders said Tuesday that the two private meetings with government officials took place in recent days. The Democratic Unity alliance issued a statement accusing Maduro of trying to "dynamite" the mediation effort after government representatives failed to show up for a third meeting without explanation.

It's unclear what was discussed, but the opposition said it's not yielding on its demand that a recall referendum be held this year and called for a march Friday.

Maduro also confirmed the talks.

The Union of South American Nations has been trying to activate dialogue between the two sides, so far with little success.