MEXICO CALLS FOR 'PEACE AND DIALOGUE' IN VENEZUELA
Last Updated: 2019-01-25
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MEXICO CITY, Jan 25 (NNN-EFE) -- The Mexican government recognizes Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela's president and sees dialogue as the answer to political strife blamed for 13 deaths, Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said, citing his country's tradition of not interfering in the affairs of other nations.

"Mexico will maintain its stance. In synthesis: no intervention and a readiness to contribute however we can to any process that leads to peace and dialogue," he said during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's daily morning press conference.

Ebrard said that Mexican officials have had no contact with either the Maduro government or its foes since Wednesday's violent clashes, which came as the speaker of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Juan Guaido, proclaimed himself acting president of Venezuela.

The United States quickly recognized Guaido as interim head of state and Caracas responded by severing diplomatic relations with Washington.

"Mexico will keep relations open with the current Venezuelan government, as well as its diplomatic mission (in Caracas), Ebrard said.

The events in Venezuela on Wednesday are practically unprecedented and Mexico "will not accompany an action of this nature," he said, apparently referring to Guaido's proclamation

"We are concerned about peace, human rights and freedom, and I agree with the UN that we first need to make efforts to reduce tensions and avoid the escalation that leads to violence," the foreign secretary said.

Lopez Obrador pointed out that the Mexican constitution calls for "non-intervention, self-determination for peoples, peaceful solution of controversies and respect for human rights."

"The attitude of the new government of Mexico arises from these values. On this issue and others, it's not that we are in favor or against, we are for compliance with constitutional principles," the leftist president said.

Mexico wants neither "confrontation nor disputes" with any country or people, Lopez Obrador said.

Venezuela's opposition, with support from the US and Washington's Latin American allies, refuses to accept Maduro's victory in the 2018 presidential election, denouncing the process as fraudulent. -- NNN-EFE