Venezuela rivals hold talks
SANTO DOMINGO - Talks between Venezuela's government and opposition inched closer Wednesday as delegates from both sides began exploratory contacts with mediators in the Dominican Republic. Jorge Rodriguez, a close ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, said some progress had been made towards faceto-face negotiations. "We are very close to resolving many of the points on the agenda," he told reporters in the capital of the Caribbean state. The opposition delegation was expected to meet Dominican President Danilo Medina, who is trying to broker a breakthrough in the crisis along with ex-Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.