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Feb 6, 2019

CARICOM Proposes Montevideo Mechanism to Address Venezuelan Crisis

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington departed the country on Tuesday for Uruguay, along with Ambassadors Daniel Gutierrez and Lou-Anne Burns as well as former O.A.S. Ambassador Lisa Shoman to participate in the international contact group meetings on the situation in Venezuela.  The governments of Mexico, Uruguay and CARICOM have proposed the Montevideo Mechanism. According to CARICOM, the initiative is offered to the Venezuelan actors with the aim to create all conditions for a lasting solution to the crisis.  The group is proposing a four-phase process: dialogue, negotiations, commitments, and implementation. The majority of CARICOM member states have called for peaceful dialogue save for the Bahamas and Haiti, which have recognized Opposition Leader, Juan Guaido as the Interim-President. In January, Ambassador Gutierrez told the O.A.S. that the failure of the Venezuelan government is unquestionable, leading many to believe that the friendly relationship between Belize and the Maduro regime was coming to an end. According to Minister Patrick Faber, who is currently acting Prime Minister, Cabinet has discussed the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Acting Prime Minister

“They have been a good friend to us but that does not mean that at the same time we condone bad practices in terms of their democracy. That is our position and as I said it is the position of most of CARICOM save the Bahamas and Haiti. Our position is not that there aren’t desirables in terms of the state of affairs in Venezuela and certainly things under the Maduro regime. We have never said that we condone and that we are agreeable to everything that is happening there. What we are saying, as you pointed out, that dialogue needs to happen, that this matter needs to be resolved and the way to solve it not to just go in and impose. There are ways of dealing with this and solving it in a way that we don’t big stick the process so to speak. That is what we are all about. It is not that we are saying that we are in the corner necessarily rooting and approving all that is happening in Venezuela. We are just saying this matter needs to be resolved via dialogue.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“The comments made by Mr. Gutierrez have the full support of the Government of Belize and the Prime Minister?”

 

Patrick Faber

“Oh yes. There is no doubt that when our ambassador speaks that he speaks with that authority from the Government. An ambassador cannot go up there and speak on their own. Dan Gutierrez is one of our best so I am sure that when he spoke especially at that kind of forum that he spoke on behalf of our government and especially of the Foreign Ministry.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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