Russia, Lima Group back Caricom position on Venezuela

The Cari­com del­e­ga­tion which left yes­ter­day for the Uruguay con­fer­ence on Venezuela is en­ter­ing the talks as oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al play­ers - in­clud­ing the Li­ma Group and Rus­sia - have al­so mount­ed calls for peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the Venezue­lan cri­sis and di­a­logue to­wards this.

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley and For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Den­nis Moses left yes­ter­day to join Cari­com’s del­e­ga­tion in Mon­te­v­ideo, Uruguay, where the in­ter­na­tion­al meet­ing on the sit­u­a­tion in Venezuela will be held to­day, a state­ment from the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter said.

Row­ley is ex­pect­ed home Fri­day - im­me­di­ate­ly af­ter the meet­ing. Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert is act­ing as Prime Min­is­ter.

A Cari­com Sec­re­tari­at state­ment said the in­ter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence set to con­vene to­mor­row will fo­cus on the on­go­ing po­lit­i­cal up­heaval in Venezuela. Cari­com boast­ed that the del­e­ga­tion’s Uruguay ap­pear­ance “fol­lows on the heels of its skil­ful shut­tle diplo­ma­cy at the Unit­ed Na­tions, to ad­vance di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tions for the ben­e­fit of the Venezue­lan peo­ple.”

This, fol­low­ing weeks of tur­moil in Venezuela re­gard­ing the stand-off be­tween em­bat­tled Pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro and Na­tion­al As­sem­bly head Juan Guai­do, who has de­clared him­self in­ter­im pres­i­dent.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the main coun­tries and in­ter­na­tion­al or­gan­i­sa­tions that hold a neu­tral po­si­tion to­ward Venezuela have been in­vit­ed to the Uruguay meet­ing. Con­fer­ence hosts Uruguay and Mex­i­co said the pur­pose of the con­fer­ence is to es­tab­lish a ba­sis for a new di­a­logue mech­a­nism that in­cludes all the forces in Venezuela to help re­store peace.

Rus­sia yes­ter­day backed di­a­logue on the sit­u­a­tion, say­ing the Venezue­lan cri­sis could on­ly be solved by invit­ing the gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties and the op­po­si­tion to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble.

As the US has con­tin­ued sig­nalling that mil­i­tary op­tions are not off the ta­ble, the Li­ma Group of Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries and Cana­da - while sup­port­ing Guai­do - yes­ter­day em­pha­sised sup­port for peace­ful tran­si­tion through po­lit­i­cal and diplo­mat­ic means mi­nus mil­i­tary use of force.

Cari­com of­fi­cials in Guyana could not com­ment yes­ter­day on what the team’s sched­ule will be in Uruguay and whether they would cau­cus with oth­er lead­ers ahead of the of­fi­cial agen­da.

They did not com­ment on whether Cari­com’s del­e­ga­tions may have any talks with the Eu­ro­pean Union/Latin Amer­i­can con­tact group­ing which al­so meets in Uruguay to­mor­row. That team is sole­ly fo­cus­ing on ob­tain­ing fresh elec­tions in Venezuela.

Reporter: Gail Alexander

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