International Conference on the Situation in Venezuela
The International Conference on the Situation in Venezuela was a meeting of states which occurred in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 7 February 2019 during which the International Contact Group on Venezuela was formed to address the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis. It was jointly sponsored by the governments of Mexico and Uruguay. In addition to Mexico and Uruguay, participating states included France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.
|Native name||Conferencia Internacional sobre la Situación en Venezuela|
|Date||7 February 2019|
|Cause||2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis|
|Organised by||Government of Mexico|
Government of Uruguay
|Participants||Governments of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Uruguay|
The International Conference on the Situation in Venezuela, jointly sponsored by the governments of Mexico and Uruguay, was announced on 30 January 2019 and, according to a statement issued by the Uruguayan foreign ministry, was in response to the general call for dialog issued by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in relation to the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis. The announcement of the conference followed an earlier declaration by Mexico and Uruguay in which they declined to support the position taken by other Mercosur and Lima Group states which recognized the claim to the presidency of Venezuela made by Juan Guaidó and instead called for a "new process of inclusive and credible negotiations with full respect for the rule of law and human rights".
According to the initial announcement by its sponsors, the conference was to be open to delegations from states that had taken a "neutral" position with respect to the situation in Venezuela. The conference has since been described as occurring for purposes of formation of a contact group.
The government of Mexico initially indicated it anticipated representatives from ten states to attend. According to a France24 report of 4 February, participating states – in addition to Mexico and Uruguay – would include France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador.
- According to the Venezuelan foreign ministry, President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro welcomed "this initiative and reiterates that dialogue is the only way to resolve disputes".
- According to a statement posted to the official Twitter feed of President of Bolivia Evo Morales following news of the conference, "Bolivia praises and joins the initiative of brotherly countries Mexico and Uruguay".
- Speaking the day after the conference's announcement, Russian Foreign Ministry representative Maria Zakharova said that the Russian Federation was still evaluating "the conference's parameters".
- On January 31, spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the United Nations Stephane Dujarric confirmed the UN was aware of the conference and was planning on organizing a meeting at United Nations Headquarters to discuss the proposal. In a subsequent announcement, United Nations representatives said they would not participate in the conference.
The day before the conference, on 6 February, the United States and 20 other nations convened a separate meeting in Ottawa, Canada, in which they issued a joint declaration reaffirming their recognition of Guaidó's claim to the Venezuelan presidency.
The conference convened on 7 February, as scheduled, and was attended by ministerial-level representatives of all of the nations previously reported as participants. Discussions were opened by President of Uruguay Tabaré Vázquez and the European Union's High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
At the end of the day, the participating states, with the exception of Bolivia and Mexico, agreed to form the International Contact Group on Venezuela and issued a jointly signed declaration which called for new elections to occur in Venezuela.
Bolivian and Mexican objectionsEdit
Bolivia objected to the Montevideo declaration due to their belief that Venezuelans must determine a way out of the crisis without outside involvement. According to Mexico's delegation, that country could not support the Montevideo declaration owing to a Mexican constitutional prohibition on interference in the domestic politics of foreign states.
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- "Uruguay y México invitan a conferencia internacional sobre la situación en Venezuela". Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- Fernández, Nelson (January 30, 2019). "Uruguay y México convocan a una reunión en Montevideo por la crisis de Venezuela". La Nacion. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Uruguay diverges from Mercosur, aligns with Mexico on Venezuela crisis". Buenos Aires Times. January 24, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Mexico, Uruguay plan conference on Venezuela". WPLG-TV. Associated Press. January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Contact Group on Venezuela to Promote Authorities". TASS. February 4, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- "Austria Joins in Pressure for Venezuela Election". Washington Post. February 3, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- "UN will not join any group on Venezuela crisis talks: Guterres". France24. February 4, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Garcia, Simon. "Uruguay and Mexico invite an international conference on the situation in Venezuela". mppre.gob.ve. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- "#Bolivia praises and joins ..." Twitter. Evo Morales Ayma. Archived from the original on 30 January 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Diplomat comments on Uruguay's, Mexico's initiative to convene conference on Venezuela". TASS. January 31, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
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- Pipoli, Renzo (February 7, 2019). "Mexico, Uruguay, EU officials meet over Venezuela crisis". United Press International. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- Orozco, Jose (February 7, 2019). "Mexico Sidelined as EU, Latin America Push Venezuela Election". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Bolivia aderisce a Meccanismo Montevideo". Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (in Italian). February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2019.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)