The Uruguayan central workers union, PIT-CNT, together with the Continental Conference for Democracy and against Neoliberalism, and the Union Gathering Nuestra América, held a rally in Montevideo on February 7 demanding “Dialogue and Peace for Venezuela.”
The mobilization took place in the center of the Uruguayan capital, while a few blocks away took place the meeting of the International Contact Group (CGI, for its acronym in Spanish) on Venezuela formed by Uruguay, Ecuador and the European Union, and “Montevideo’s Mechanism”, also promoted by Uruguay together with Mexico, Bolivia and the Caribbean Community.
The GCI announced that it will send a technical mission to Venezuela to “promote dialogue” and “establish guarantees” to call for “free, transparent and credible” presidential elections. They called for “restoring full democracy and the rule of law, respecting the constitutional mandate of the National Assembly” and supporting the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Mexico distanced itself from this position of calling elections, since this is not included in the four steps intended in Montevideo’s Mechanism: dialogue, negotiation, commitments and implementation.
Mexico “cannot support the political interference in other countries,” said chancellor Marcelo Ebard, who pointed out that his country will continue supporting the dialogue, but not “participating in something that implies that we determine the electoral process.”
Fernando Gambera, Head of International Relations of the PIT-CNT, expressed his opinion regarding the decision of the Contact Group to Real World Radio and remarked that the union center is willing to participate in dialogue with valid intermediaries to avoid interference in Venezuela, respect their sovereignty and send humanitarian aid that the country decides.
Karin Nansen, president of Friends of the Earth International, opened the speech of the ceremony in Libertad Square and stressed that it is necessary to reaffirm solidarity and internationalism among our peoples: “Latin America will continue to resist foreign interference in our continent, and we will not allow the imposition of interests alien to our rights through violence.”
The Continental Conference, together with the PIT-CNT and Nuestra América, called for dialogue “in defense of peace, to facilitate a negotiated solution between democratic actors”. In the proclamation read during the rally, they denounced the coup attempt in Venezuela “with a person who calls himself president [in reference to Juan Guaidó] and countries that support him with the leadership of the United States, with known geopolitical interests in Venezuela and the region,” as part of “an offensive by the Latin American fascist right wing against popular and sovereign projects, against the left wing and the working class”.
“We are worried and preoccupied by Venezuela,” the document agreed by the social movements states. “We want peace for that country above all things and we reject any alternative that facilitates the path to war. (…) Our solidarity with Venezuela is, at the same time, a call to the continuity of the articulated struggle of our peoples against the imperialist impositions for the dismantling of democracy and collective rights historically conquered. We cannot allow our rights to disappear as a result of the coup strategies. To the offensive of the right wing, we respond with more unity and solidarity, and today in Uruguay we honor our history of struggle for democracy, social justice, peace and the sovereignty of the peoples.”
After these first diplomatic meetings in Montevideo, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, declared that he supports Montevideo’s Mechanism and that “we are in the immediate disposition to accompany any action that is on the way to diplomacy, dialogue and gathering among Venezuelans,” reported the local press.