Foreign Policy Magazine, which is “devoted to the coverage of global affairs”, has published an infographic that purports to depict global allegiances in the Venezuela crisis. The infographic, curiously, singles out three Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations — St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Suriname — and mentions them in a table in the accompanying story, placing them in the “Backs Nicolás Maduro” camp alongside powers such as Russia, China, Iran and Turkey.
This might be flattering geopolitically, but it doesn’t reflect the reality. Twelve out of the 15 CARICOM states have jointly expressed their position on Venezuela, so Foreign Policy’s list is missing nine CARICOM nations, plus the two others — Haiti and The Bahamas — which had voiced support of Guaidó.
The Bahamas has since backtracked from that support in favour of the CARICOM position, which is also one of non-intervention and non-interference. This may amount, as some have pointed out, to tacit support for Maduro, but the spirit of the CARICOM statement is essentially the same as Mexico’s and Uruguay’s, both of whom Foreign Policy have placed in the “On the fence” or “taking neutral position, offered to mediate” camp.
CARICOM also offered to mediate, and in fact attended a meeting this week with Uruguay, Mexico and other “neutral” states in Montevideo, Uruguay, which concluded that “the complexity of the circumstances [in Venezuela] should not be a reason to dismiss the diplomatic channels for dispute settlement.”
Reiterating their decision to “help restore the tranquility of the Venezuelan people through dialogue and peace,” the governments issued a statement outlining what they refer to as “The Montevideo Mechanism,” a proposed four-phased approach to resolving Venezuela’s political crisis.
The proposed Montevideo Mechanism calls for the following phases:
• 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.