CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday (Wednesday) his government was prepared to meet the opposition for talks, offering a glimpse of a breakthrough in a political standoff marked by months of deadly protests. Maduro made the surprise announcement in a televised cabinet meeting in Caracas. He told his ministers he would accept to undertake talks brokered by Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina and ex-Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Maduro appointed influential Caracas politician Jorge Rodriguez as his representative at the talks, and said he would leave for the Dominican Republic “in the next few hours.” The opposition announced in turn that it would hold an exploratory meeting on Wednesday with the Dominican president. However, it insisted it did not mean it was the beginning of formal talks with the government.