LEAD-CARIBBEAN-POLITICS-CARICOM says meeting with Guaido 'significant step' towards peaceful solution to Venezuela crisis.


Caribbean Community (CARICOM) foreign minister Saturday held talks with Venezuelan Opposition leader, Juan Guaido in accordance with the decision by CARICOM leaders to facilitate a 'peaceful resolution' of the political and economic crisis in the South American country.

A brief statement issued by the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat on Sunday, noted that Guaido had joined the discussions 'via video conference' and that regional foreign ministers had met with his delegation in Bridgetown.

'In accordance with the decision of CARICOM Heads of Government to provide good offices in facilitating a peaceful resolution to the Venezuela crisis through a meaningful internal process, a delegation of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Foreign Ministers met with Mr. Guaido and a delegation of his representatives in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 23 March 2019. Mr. Guaido joined the discussion via videoconference,' the statement noted.

CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St. Kitts-Nevis last month had reiterated their position of non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and said they were prepared to mediate in the process to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Guaido, who is backed by the United States, Canada and some other Western countries, is seeking to unseat President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn into office for a second consecutive term in January.

Maduro has the backing of Russia, China and Cuba among other countries.

The statement said that CARICOM foreign Ministers 'acknowledged the meeting as a significant initial step in a series of potential engagements that should unfold by agreed mechanisms, within the framework of the Constitution of Venezuela and the rule of law.

'The meeting provided a greater understanding of Mr. Guaido's views and perspectives on how to move forward in the search for peaceful solutions, as well as his willingness to take part in meaningful discussions. The participants accepted the benefit of further engagement,' the statement added.

Guaido later on his twitter page said the talks were mainly an opportunity for him 'to express his...

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