If Montevideo Summit Fails, Military Clash in Venezuela Possible - Uruguayan MP

© AP Photo / Ariana CubillosSoldiers march during a military parade commemorating the 20th anniversary of the failed coup attempt by President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela
Soldiers march during a military parade commemorating the 20th anniversary of the failed coup attempt by President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela - Sputnik International
A number of Latin American and European nations are scheduled to hold crisis talks on the situation in Venezuela on Thursday. The first meeting of the newly formed Contact Group that will be held on 7 February in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is aimed at promoting dialogue as a political solution to the Venezuelan crisis.

This meeting is considered as an alternative to the difficult situation that's developed in the country after opposition leader Juan Guaido (the People's Will Party — Libertad Popular) declared himself the interim president of Venezuela.

The contact group is comprised of the European Union and also France, UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden; and four Latin American countries: Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

Daniel Caggiani, President of the Mercosur Parliament and an MP from Uruguay's Broad Front (Frente Amplio) political coalition has commented on the importance of this meeting. 

"If this meeting fails, it could be followed by clashes, primarily a military clash with very serious consequences at the international level. No one amongst the Latin American democrats can wish for that. Therefore, of course, we must think in this direction", the Uruguayan MP explained.

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Mr Caggiani also noted that at the moment "there are no multilateral mechanisms in place for discussing the main problems of Latin Americans and citizens of the Caribbean countries and for debating issues while at the same time complying with international law, in the case of Venezuela it's the principle of non-intervention and the right to self-determination.

"As the Mercosur Parliament, we haven't discussed this issue and I believe that now the greatest effort that we can make is to at least begin to move in a direction that will guarantee a political dialogue", the politician said.

Instead of supporting their own sovereign positions some countries have just become President Trump's foreign policy trailers Caggiani told Sputnik. He stressed that the main efforts "should be directed at preventing bloodshed in Venezuela so that there will be no new war in Latin America after many years of peace".

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The president of the Mercosur Parliament said that an emergency (a special) meeting of the Board of the Parliament is scheduled for 11 February, by then the results of Thursday's contact group meeting will be taken into consideration in order to find a possible path to peace.

If a peace plan fails, military intervention as an alternative will be considered. This is something that was hinted at by United States National Security Advisor John Bolton. Bolton was photographed last week holding a notepad that said: "5,000 troops to Colombia".

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Colombian President Ivan Duque said he was unaware of these intentions. At the same time, on the 4th of February, Colombian security and defence expert Erich Saumeth published conflicting data on Infodefensa, a defence news outlet.

"The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has begun advance hiring of contractors for possible logistic support of the units of their Armed Forces, which will subsequently be sent to the Department of La Guajira on the border with Venezuela".

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Quoting direct sources from of one of the contractors, the expert claims that the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) is also involved in these activities. "It is not yet known whether these troops will be located at one of the military bases in Colombia with a runway", or, on the contrary, with prior permission, a "temporary US military base" will be created, his report said.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself the country's interim president on the 23rd of January with the United States throwing their support behind him and calling on "illegitimate" president Nicolas Maduro to step down. Venezuelan President Maduro has accused Washington of organizing a coup attempt.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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