Photo: Signatories oft he Montevideo Mechanism. Credit: CARICOM. - Photo: 2019

‘Montevideo Mechanism’ Seeks to Resolve Venezuela Crisis

By Rodrigo Pérez

MONTEVIDEO (IDN) – The United Nations is willing to bring Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido together for “serious negotiations” at their request, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said during a press conference at the 32nd African Union summit on February 10 at Addis Ababa. Ethiopia.

Earlier, the spokesman for Guterres, Stéphane Dujarric, said that the UN Chief “supports the efforts of the international community that will help find a political solution” to the situation in Venezuela.

In response, the governments of Mexico, Uruguay and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have signed on to the Montevideo Mechanism following talks in Uruguay on the escalating situation in Venezuela.

In a statement released on February 6, they said they had agreed that the most appropriate way to address the complex situation that prevails in Venezuela is through dialogue for a negotiation, from a position of respect for International Law and Human Rights.

The government leaders meeting in Montevideo declared: “The historical stance of our countries is and will always be to privilege diplomacy over other alternatives, as it is the only way to achieve sustainable, legitimate and effective peace and stability.

“Therefore, we propose the Montevideo Mechanism, based on our legitimate interest and willingness to assist the Venezuelan people and the actors involved find a solution to their differences. This initiative is offered to the Venezuelan actors as a peaceful and democratic alternative that privileges dialogue and peace, with the aim to create all necessary conditions for an inclusive, comprehensive and lasting solution.”

The statement added that the Montevideo Mechanism – an evidence of an active, proactive and conciliatory diplomacy to bring the disputing parties closer together, avoid conflict and violence – is guided by the principles of non-intervention, legal equality of the States, peaceful solution of the controversies, respect for human rights and self-determination.

Based on the experience of the signatory countries in processes of mediation and peaceful conflict resolution, they propose to establish a four-phased process, which will develop during a reasonable period of time, previously agreed by the parties.

The four phases are:

Dialogue Phase: Creating conditions for direct contacts among the actors involved, in an environment of security.

Negotiation Phase: Strategic presentation of the results of the previous phase to the counterparts, seeking to find common ground and areas of opportunity to allow the relaxation of positions and identify potential agreements.

Commitments Phase: Construction and subscription of agreements based on the results of the negotiation phase, with the characteristics and timeframe, previously agreed upon.

Implementation Phase: Materialization of the commitments assumed in the previous phase with the international accompaniment.

The subscribers of the Montevideo statement agree that the complexity of the circumstances should not be a reason to dismiss the diplomatic channels for dispute settlement, and reiterate their decision to help restore the tranquility of the Venezuelan people, through dialogue and peace, reducing tensions between political forces and avoid the threat or use of force.

“Likewise, our governments reiterate their concern about the serious humanitarian situation and respectfully exhort all parties to guarantee the validity of the Human Rights and the freedoms established in the UN Charter, subscribed by Venezuela,” the statement added.

The Montevideo Mechanism, the statement emphasises, is the proposal of the governments of Mexico, Uruguay and CARICOM to guarantee a peaceful and democratic solution that prevents an escalation of violence.

“In the event that the parties decide to communicate, we would invite Mrs. Rebeca Grynspan, former Vice-President of Costa Rica and current Ibero-American Secretary General, Mr. Enrique Iglesias and Mr. Bernardo Sepúlveda, ex Foreign Ministers of Uruguay and Mexico, and Sir David Simmons, former Chief Justice of Barbados, as a high representative of CARICOM, personalities of recognized international experience and moral quality, to accompany this Mechanism,” the statement concludes. [IDN-InDepthNews – 11 February 2019]

Photo: Signatories oft he Montevideo Mechanism. Credit: CARICOM.

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate. –

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