Dialogue not Military Force Key to Peaceful Resolution in Venezuela, Says Envoy

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By Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Venezuela’s Ambassador to Nigeria, David Caraballo, has said that dialogue and not military force nor economic sanction by the United States of America (USA) and its allies holds the key to a peaceful resolution of the current impasse in the country.

The crisis in the Latin American country took a dangerous dimension last week when opposition leader Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself “Acting President” of venezuela.

Caraballo, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, over the development, warned that the crisis which has already claimed the lives of over 40 persons, if not contained now, could snowball into the kind of destruction witnessed in places like Libya and Syria.

While blaming the government of President Donald Trump for the current impasse between the opposition leader and the government, he warned the US not to create another Libya from Venezuela, adding that Venezuela has the capacity to handle its internal problems and is prepared to go into dialogue with the opposition in resolving the crisis.

“We have the capacity to solve the internal problem peacefully and through dialogue. All the experience is important for us to learn to solve our problem. Venezuela will not be another Libya. We will solve our problem peacefully without any intervention,” the envoy said emphatically.

While pointing out that the issue is far from being that of democracy, the ambassador accused the US of sponsoring violence in the bid to create instability and thereby have access to the country’s oil and gold through their cronies they would install in government.

“Before the United States would be at the back of any intervention, but this time it is in front of the process. They take the decision and make the orders to some people like Guaidó to promote destabilisation so as to make economic and military intervention,” he said.

He recalled that the United States had in the past promoted coup in Brazil, Honduras and Paraguay to change the political situation of these countries, adding that they want to promote similar interest in Venezuela, to change the government.

He also dismissed claims that the country is experiencing humanitarian crisis with claims that about three million Venezuelans are taking refuge outside the country.

“We don’t have this huge number of Venezuelan refugees outside the country. We don’t have humanitarian crisis. Venezuela hosts about nine millions of foreign nationals,” he added.

The opposition leader, who is head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, said the constitution allows him to assume power temporarily when the president is deemed illegitimate.

The US and more than 20 other nations have backed Guaidó. The White House said on Wednesday that President Trump and the opposition leader had agreed to maintain regular communication to “support Venezuela’s path back to stability”.

Similarly, the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also issued a statement, saying the bloc as a whole could recognise Guaidó if steps towards new elections were not taken “over the next days”.

But back at home, the Venezuela’s Supreme Court has banned Guaidó from leaving the country and also frozen his bank accounts.

Caraballo said a lot of the people are with Maduro, including governors and over 95 per cent of the mayors.