Uruguay Joins CELAC Talks on Venezuela Unrest

Uruguay agreed Thursday to attend international talks called by Venezuela to promote dialogue between the government in Caracas and the opposition.

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Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said his country would offer a helping hand to Venezuela. (El Pais)
Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said his country would offer a helping hand to Venezuela. (El Pais)
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
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Puebla, Mexico, May 12, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Uruguay agreed Thursday to attend international talks called by Venezuela to promote dialogue between the government in Caracas and the opposition.

“Uruguay will not refuse to extend a helping hand to any country in trouble,” Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said.

While accepting the invitation, the minister argued in favour of dialogue, rejecting international isolation of Venezuela.

“It’s not a wise decision to isolate or sanction Venezuela,” the minister said.

In recent months, Venezuela has faced increasing calls for new sanctions from Washington, as the country’s opposition has also pushed for Caracas to be suspended from the Organisation of American States (OAS). In response, Maduro has vowed to pull his country out of the regional bloc.

Earlier this week, Venezuela extended an invitation to Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and the Dominican Republic to mediate dialogue efforts in the South American country. 

"We thank these sister countries of the CELAC for their good will towards Venezuela to preserve peace in the framework of respect for sovereignty," declared Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez on Tuesday. 

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was created in 2010 as a global South alternative to the OAS, encompassing all 33 nations in the hemisphere with the exception of the US and Canada. 

Caracas hopes that the regional body can, together with the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), promote a dialogue-based solution to Venezuela's ongoing political strife, which has claimed over 40 lives since April 4. 

According to reports in the Uruguayan media, Uruguay itself has been tapped by Venezuela to act as a facilitator during talks, though this hasn’t been confirmed by Caracas.

It’s unclear when the next CELAC meeting will take place. However, the last talks on Venezuela by the regional body on May 2 ended without a resolution.