Mexican President Rules Out Meeting with Venezuelan Opposition’s Capriles

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has ended speculation that he may meet with Venezuela's opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who continues to search for international support against the Venezuelan government.

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During a lecture at London's Chatham House, Peña ruled out meeting with the Venezuelan opposition leader (Olivia Harris/Reuters)
During a lecture at London's Chatham House, Peña ruled out meeting with the Venezuelan opposition leader (Olivia Harris/Reuters)
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
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Merida, June 19th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) –  Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has ended speculation that he may meet with Venezuela's opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who continues to search for international support against the Venezuelan government.

Speaking at London's Chatham House, Peña was asked by an audience member if he would “receive Capriles in Mexico City”.

“No,” Peña responded, speaking through a translator.

“It is clear that Mexico has acknowledged the newly formed government in Venezuela, and we cannot participate in domestic issues,” he stated.

Peña continued by affirming that, “we are not going to make a stand in terms of domestic issues; this is our decision.”

The Mexican president is currently in the United Kingdom to attend the 39th G8 summit, being held this week in Northern Ireland.

Speaking to the BBC earlier today, Mexico's Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade stated that the Peña administration hopes to improve relations with Venezuela, and that any “challenges” will be solved “through dialogue within institutions”.

“We can build a relationship that is in the interests of the two countries,” the foreign minister stated.

“Venezuela is a systematically important part [of Latin America],” Meade said.

The statements came as Capriles continues seeking to visit Latin American countries to garner regional support for his campaign against the outcome of the 14 April Venezuelan presidential election.  Capriles maintains that Nicolas Maduro won the election by fraud, despite the results of audit by the National Electoral Council (CNE), which confirmed Maduro's victory earlier this month.

On Monday, Capriles stated on his internet show Capriles.TV that he plans to visit Peru, Chile and “very likely” Mexico, though at the time he gave no further details, including whether he would meet with representatives of any foreign governments.

The opposition leader has also hit out at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), which officially recognised Venezuela's efforts to reduce malnutrition in a ceremony over the weekend. Capriles accused the government of spreading “lies”, and trying to make Venezuelans “believe a different reality”.

“I will continue to carry the voice of the majority of Venezuelans to other countries,” he told viewers.

The majority of Venezuelans voted for Maduro in the April elections: 50.61% to Capriles' 49.12%, according to the final count.

Although most of Venezuela's neighbours have recognised the results of the election, the United States and Canada are still withholding acknowledgement of Maduro's victory. Last month, Colombian president Juan Santos met with Capriles in Bogota, provoking criticism from the Venezuelan government. The Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua described the Bogota meeting as a “step towards derailing” bilateral ties between the two South American nations.