Lopez Obrador offers to send mediators to Venezuela

Lopez Obrador has sided with Maduro and pledged non-intervention

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - JANUARY 14: President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador points at a journalist during the morning press conference at National Palace on January 14, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. President Obrador addressed the fuel shortage and presented a plan. (Photo by Pedro Gonzalez Castillo/Getty Images)
President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador points at a journalist during a recent morning press conference at National Palace. Photo: Pedro Gonzalez Castillo / Getty Images

Mexico offered to mediate in the Venezuelan standoff if both sides ask, Reuters reported.

The Mexican government announced today that it is willing to mediate between the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader and congress chief Juan Guaido.

Guaido declared himself interim leader on Wednesday, with Washington and most Latin American nations backing the move.

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Earlier, President Andres Manuel Lopez defended his administration’s hands-off policy on Venezuela, saying it marked a return to the country’s longstanding policy of non-intervention.

But at a press conference today, AMLO conditionally changed course.

“Let both sides ask for it. We’re willing to help in the mediation … we can’t do so just because one of the sides proposes it and says here we are,” Lopez Obrador said.

“If they come to an agreement and really want dialogue, to find a peaceful solution, our country as it has done in the past on issues of foreign policy would again serve as a mediator,” he added during his daily press conference.

Socialist Maduro said he supported proposals by Mexico and Uruguay to “create an international initiative for dialogue between the political forces in Venezuela, to seek an agreement within the framework of our Constitution, which guarantees stability and peace to all Venezuelans.”

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Maduro was re-elected last year in an election largely seen as a sham and severed diplomatic ties with the United States earlier this week. Some non-essential personnel left the Caracas embassy for the airport today.

Mexico still backs Maduro as Venezuelan president, the government’s top spokesman said Wednesday after the head of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled legislature declared himself interim president.

Jesus Ramirez, Lopez Obrador’s spokesman, later wrote on Twitter that Mexico was “analyzing the situation in Venezuela.”

With information from Reuters, AP, Yahoo News

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