UN calls for political negotiations to end Venezuela crisis

UNITED NATIONS — “Serious political negotiations” are necessary for finding a solution to the crisis in Venezuela and find lasting peace, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said recently.

“When we see the present stand-off, it becomes even more clear that serious political negotiations between the parties are necessary to find a solution leading to lasting peace for the people of Venezuela,” said Stephane Dujarric.

He made the remarks during a regular briefing with reporters in response to a query about humanitarian aid for the people of Venezuela.

“I think it is good to restate a couple of basic principles,” he said. “First, when in any country there is a serious gap in terms of nutrition or basic health care, including vaccination, that is indeed a serious humanitarian issue.”

“United Nations Humanitarian assistance should be needs-based and carried out in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence,” Dujarric said. “Humanitarian action needs to be independent of political, military or any other objectives.”

He then appealed for negotiations.

Venezuela has been mired in difficult economic and political situations after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president and was recognized by the United States and some other countries, arousing fear of foreign military intervention.

Nicolas Maduro was reelected in May 2018 and was sworn in as president on Jan. 10 for another six-year term.

Alleging that the Maduro administration is illegitimate, Guaido, who was the head of the National Assembly, declared himself interim president during an anti-government rally on January 23.

The United States, among some other countries, has recognized Guaido’s presidency, and US President Donald Trump has warned that “all options are on the table.”

Maduro, in response, announced the severing of diplomatic and political ties with the United States.