OTTAWA – The Green Party is welcoming the federal government’s offer to convene high-level talks aimed at resolving the continuing political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May wrote: “I welcome your government’s commitment to engaging in the resolution of the Venezuelan crisis and in potentially hosting a high-level meeting of the Lima Group.” (The Lima Group is a multilateral body made up of Canada and 12 South and Central American nations formed to work towards a peaceful end to the crisis in Venezuela.)
“However, Canada should not use such a meeting as a platform for further calls for the removal of President Nicolás Maduro or for further one-sided pressure by the group. Rather, the best use of Canada's influence would be to initiate a conversation and to build consensus within the group about the need for a negotiated political solution in order to end the crisis and clear a path to free and fair elections.
“Should Canada be successful in reorienting the Lima Group towards supporting a negotiated political solution, I note that the group will join the European Union, many important allies in the region and the United States in calling for a negotiated solution.”
Green Party international affairs critic Annamie Paul said that It has been clear for some time that the situation will not be resolved simply by more pressure and declarations. “The only realistic solution is internationally facilitated negotiations culminating in free and fair elections,” said Ms. Paul.
-- 30 --
For more information or to arrange an interview:
John Chenery – email@example.com