The European Union considered an American proposal for a “democratic transition” in Venezuela on Friday, which they believe is aimed at achieving a peaceful solution to the crisis the country is experiencing. It involves “a negotiated path towards a democratic government.”
“The European Union takes positive note of the Democratic Transition Framework on Venezuela proposed by the United States,” said the EU’s high representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, in a statement on behalf of the 27 countries of the European Union. He continues, “the US proposal goes in the EU line of proposing a peaceful way out of the crisis through a negotiated path to a democratic government, which is now more needed than ever.”
The EU thus warns of the “devastating human impact” that the new coronavirus pandemic could have in “a country facing an already serious economic, social and humanitarian situation.” They reiterated their willingness to help the “Venezuelan people.” Faced with the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens to spread within and from Venezuela, and the fall in oil prices, Washington changed its tactics to promote the departure of Maduro, whose re-election in 2018 was considered fraudulent.
Washington supported the efforts of Juan Guaidó, head of the National Assembly elected in 2015, who proclaimed himself as interim president in January 2019. The United States, along with almost 60 countries, recognized Guaidó, urged Maduro to step down, and hold new elections. On Tuesday, however, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented the Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela. Under this idea, both Maduro and Guaidó would step aside, in exchange for gradually lifting sanctions.
From Caracas, Guaidó backed the proposal, similar to one put forth by the opposition in failed Norwegian-mediated talks in September. The Maduro government flatly rejected the “unconstitutional transition government,” however. Russia, one of Maduro’s main allies, described the US proposal yesterday as a “mockery.”
The Argentine government maintained “that the situation in Venezuela must be resolved by the Venezuelans themselves without external pressure or conditioning.” What’s more, “the Argentine Government asked to act with commitment and solidarity with that and all affected countries, through a global dialogue that includes everyone.”
The Lima Group issued a statement Thursday night expressing support for the Trump administration’s proposal for a transitional government in Venezuela, composed of the opposition and some members of President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party, as a condition for lifting the sanctions from the United States that have devastated the Venezuelan economy.
The plan proposes presidential and legislative elections at the end of the year. The statement also expressed “appreciation” for “the important proposal” of the United States Executive for “the formation of a transitional government.” The declaration was signed by the Governments of Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.