International Contact Group meet to find solutions for Venezuela crisis

World Today

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Jose Valencia, center, arrives for the inaugural meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

The first meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday to discuss a solution to the Venezuela crisis.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido clashed over allowing humanitarian aid into the country.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports from Montevideo.

As host, Uruguay hoped to find consensus at this meeting, and perhaps an alternative to the Lima Group’s recent demand that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro step down. What resulted from this meeting was a call to establish necessary guarantees for elections and deliver urgent humanitarian aid.

European and Latin American nations agreed that foreign actors must not be involved in the process.

“I stress, we want to to be, it has to be a Venezuelan process, completely owned by the citizens of Venezuela,” Federica Mogherini the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said

An estimated 3 million Venezuelans have fled their country since 2015. Many have come here.

As the political and economic situation becomes increasingly dire in Venezuela, the choice between foreign intervention or further dialogue should be clear cut, says University professor Temir Porras. He was Nicolas Maduro’s chief of staff until 2013.

“If the opposition wants Maduro to leave, they have two choices: one is negotiating elections and the one other is forcing him out of power. The problem with the second option is the outcome of that avenue can be potentially a civil war or a foreign intervention,” said Temir Porras a visiting Professor from Sciences Po Paris.

The dispute over allowing humanitarian aid into the country ravaged by years of turmoil highlights the urgency with which a solution to the crisis in Venezuela is needed.