At the initiative of Uruguay and Mexico, the International Contact Group met at Montevideo on last Thursday on Feb 7 2019. Its agenda was to help to resolve the Venezuelan Crisis. All its members were states the European Union deemed to make the cut.

Mexico, formerly a member of the Lima Group, sought to define a roadmap that steered clear of the use of force.

Many States, including China and Russia, made it known that they wanted to join the Contact Group, yet they were rejected.

The Office of President was shared between Uruguay (represented by its President Tabaré Vázquez and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rodolfo Nin Novoa) and the EU (represented by the High Representative for Foreign affairs and the Security Policy Federica Mogherini).

Without surprise, in its final communiqué, the Contact Group addressed the National Assembly but not the President of the Republic. What it asked for was the immediate re-election of the President according to a credible process. [1].

Only Uruguay, the European Union, Costa Rica, Equator, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland, Portugal and the United Kingdom have signed the document.

At the same time, States that had sent delegations and that had been refused entry by the European Union assembled in another room. The Leader of this Group was Mexico. This alternative group established the Montevideo Mechanism in favour of dialogue.

Anoosha Boralessa

[1The Final Declaration of the International Contact Group on Venezuela”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 7 February 2019.