(Bloomberg) -- After partnering with Uruguay to promote political dialog in Venezuela, Mexico now finds itself nearly alone in not calling for elections in the country. Uruguay today joined officials in Europe and Latin America in backing new presidential elections in Venezuela.
Only Mexico and Bolivia refused to sign a statement issued by the group of nations working as the International Contact Group on Venezuela.
Mexico’s constitution prevents it from supporting political interference in other countries, Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said, according to a transcript of his remarks at a press conference in Montevideo. The country can’t act in any way that determines elections elsewhere, he said.
“Determining whether there are elections or not, how elections are organized and when elections are held,” Ebrard said. “Mexico can’t do that.”
Mexico, Uruguay and Caribbean nations previously outlined four stages to resolve the impasse in Venezuela, which did not include a call for presidential elections. Ebrard said that this regional proposal, unlike the Contact Group, placed no conditions on Venezuela’s government and opposition, emphasizing an open dialog.
Venezuela National Assembly President Juan Guaido, who declared himself president on Jan. 23, has gained the support of the U.S. and most Latin American and European nations. China, Russia and Turkey support President Nicolas Maduro, who says the oil-hungry U.S. is interfering to get its hands on Venezuela’s heavy crude. Maduro has said he supports Mexico’s efforts for political dialog.
Bolivia Foreign Minister Diego Pary, whose country has been a long-time ally of Maduro’s, said that Venezuelans themselves must decide the way out of their political crisis.
Former senior Mexican diplomat Andres Rozental said that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was using an old interpretation of the constitution as an excuse.
“There’s nothing neutral about Mexico’s position because in practice it validates Maduro’s re-election,” Rozental said in an interview.
(Corrects spelling of last name in 8th paragraph.)
--With assistance from Carlos Manuel Rodriguez.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jose Orozco in Mexico City at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giulia Camillo at email@example.com, Dale Quinn
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