14ymedio, Caracas / Bucharest, 1 February 2019 — The head of Parliament and self-proclaimed president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, told Mexico and Uruguay this Friday that he will not attend a dialogue that seeks to keep “violators of human rights in power” and reiterated that he is only interested in a negotiation that results in the end of the “usurpation” by Nicolás Maduro.
“We want to express with certainty and firmness that the democratic forces, the legitimate institutions, much less the people of Venezuela, are unwilling to participate in conversations and negotiations whose purpose is to keep human rights violators in power through deception,” he said in a letter published on Twitter.
We affirm to the governments of Mexico and Uruguay our position of restoring the constitutional order in Venezuela. We have a clear route:
1. Cessation of usurpation 2. Transitional government 3. Free elections
Join our democratic call! pic.twitter.com/88QScWUIUq
– Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 1, 2019
In the letter addressed to the presidents of Mexico and Uruguay, Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Tabaré Vázquez, respectively, Guaidó affirms that he will only be interested in a negotiation “when it is the one that agrees definitely to the terms of cessation of the usurpation.”
A negotiation that, he adds, “allows the effective transfer of power to legitimate representatives of the Venezuelan people to initiate a process of transition that culminates with the holding of free elections, in which the participation of all democratic forces is allowed in a fair and transparent manner.”
He also criticized the neutrality of the representatives of the two countries, pointing out that in this moment that Venezuela is going through being “neutral is to be on the side of a regime that has condemned hundreds of thousands of human beings to poverty, hunger, exile and even death.”
Guaidó invited Mexico and Uruguay, which, this Friday, will bring a proposal for dialogue to the UN to promote a solution to the Venezuelan crisis, to reflect and join as “collaborators” to the demand of “restoring the Constitutional order to initiate a transitional government that leads” to a process of free elections.
He stressed that anything else that distances itself from this negotiating framework will only aggravate the crisis.
Earlier today Guaidó stated on the American network CNN, responding to a question about whether he would be open to receiving US military aid, that such a step would not be desirable, but avoided rejecting that option outright.
“Here in Venezuela we are doing everything possible to put the pressure on, so that we do not have to get to a scenario that nobody wants to have,” Guaidó told CNN.
In Europe, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Josep Borrell, warned that the countries of the European Union (EU) maintain an “absolutely overriding” position of rejection of foreign military intervention in Venezuela in the face of the political crisis that the country is experiencing.
“It is very clear, after my intervention in the Cortes (Spanish legislature) and the statements we have made at all times, that Spain will not support and would be opposed to a foreign military intervention,” Borrell told reporters after participating in an informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers.
“I believe this is the absolutely overriding position in the Council” of the EU, he stressed.
At their meeting, the ministers addressed the situation in Venezuela, although they did not reach consensus for recognizing the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as interim president, mainly because of the non-acceptance by Greece and Italy.
Borrell said he did not know about Guaidó’s statement about possible military intervention: “I do not know about it, I’m not going to judge it, Mr. Guaidó has his opinions, what I’m telling you is the Spanish position.”
The minister explained that he spoke by telephone on Thursday with the American national security adviser, who “has contacted several countries,” and with whom he discussed the situation in Venezuela.
“You have to be very careful with these issues of military interventions,” he said.
With regards to EU States that do not support recognizing Guaidó, Borrell said that “there are some countries, two countries, which base their reluctance not on the National Assembly taking the lead in the call for elections,” but on the “conditions” under which the president of the Assembly is acting.
Italy has been blunt in rejecting the recognition of Guaidó because “he has not been chosen by the people.”
“Change is decided by Venezuelan citizens, we are on the side of democracy and therefore we have to create all the motives to favor new elections,” Di Maio said when commenting on the abstention of the members of parliament from the parties that make up the Italian government, Liga Y M5S, in the voting of the European Parliament.
Asked if the United States had asked Spain to break all dialogue with Maduro, he said he does not know, although he acknowledged that Washington has asked several countries “to proceed to recognition (of Guaidó) days ago.”
Borrell insisted that Spain “is not abiding by guidelines” from the United States and that the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, “set a deadline” (of 8 days for elections to be held in Venezuela), an ultimatum that “will be maintained,” a position that “many other countries have joined.”
Asked if the United States is upset that the EU is going to push for a contact group to support free elections in Venezuela, Borrell said that “there are many countries that do not look kindly at the EU creating this support group.”
Translated by Wilfredo Díaz Echevarria
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