CARICOM secretary general meets with Mexican foreign minister on Venezuela crisis

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CARICOM secretary general meets with Mexican foreign minister on Venezuela crisis
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 11, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque has held talks with Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, on the “current worrying situation in Venezuela,” according to a statement issued by the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat.

It said that la Rocque had travelled to the third largest country in Latin America last week and met with Ebrand where the so-called Montevideo Mechanism was reviewed.

CARICOM Chairman and St. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said in February that the Montevideo Mechanism adopted in Uruguay last month presents “the only objective mechanism” to address the complex political situation in Venezuela.

Harris, who led a CARICOM delegation to Uruguay for talks with Mexico and European officials, said the mechanism is the only initiative available for international actors “who want to see peace in Venezuela”.

The Montevideo Mechanism is regarded as the initiative in response to the call by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to find a pathway to a peaceful resolution through dialogue and from a position of respect for international law and human rights.

CARICOM leaders have called for a non-interventionist policy regarding Venezuela where Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó, backed by the United States and several other western countries, has declared himself the interim leader of the South American country.

But Russia, China and Cuba are among countries that are supporting President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn into office in January for a second consecutive term as head of state.

According to an official statement, the Montevideo Mechanism, is “evidence of an active, proactive and conciliatory diplomacy to bring the disputing parties closer together, avoid conflict and violence, is guided by the principles of non-Intervention, legal equality of the States, peaceful solution of the controversies, respect for human rights and self-determination”.

The statement said that based on the experience of the signatory countries a four-phased process is being proposed.

These include creating conditions for direct contacts among the actors involved, in an environment of security, strategic presentation of the results of the previous phase to the counterparts, seeking to find common ground and areas of opportunity to allow the relaxation of positions and identify potential agreements and the construction and subscription of agreements based on the results of the negotiation phase, with the characteristics and timeframe, previously agreed upon.

The fourth phase, described as the “Implementation Phase,” will allow for the materialisation of the commitments assumed in the previous phase, with the international accompaniment.

The CARICOM statement issued following LaRocque’s visit to Mexico stated that “initial contact has been made with representatives of both sides to ascertain their willingness and availability for dialogue”.

The statement said that while in Mexico, LaRocque also discussed “the long-standing CARICOM-Mexico relationship going forward with the new Mexican administration”.

“In this regard, other meetings were held with the Chairperson of the Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Committee of the Senate, Senator Vanessa Rubio, and with the Chairman and members of the Caribbean Committee of the Mexican business association COMCE with business interests and investments in the Community”.

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