SANTIAGO – Spain believes the solution to the problem that Venezuela is going through, and that has left 75 people dead over the past 80 days of protests, must come from Latin America itself and not from outside the region.
“Within the Organization of American States (OAS) or outside of it, it’s important that the region find its own solution, not one imposed from the outside,” said the Spanish secretary of state for international cooperation and Ibero-America, Fernando Garcia Casas.
“There’s a group of countries like Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Spain that basically think the same and agree that steps must be taken to end the humanitarian crisis, free political prisoners, hold elections and end the violence and bloodshed,” he said.
“The Constitutional Assembly isn’t a solution, because it doesn’t lead to peace, democracy or reconciliation,” he said.
The mediation between the government and the Venezuelan opposition promoted by former presidents Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (Spain), Leonel Fernandez (Dominican Republic) and Martin Torrijos (Panama) “isn’t getting all the results one would like,” Garcia Casas said.
“Democracy is one of Latin America’s assets, and despite the problems, there are many great success stories,” the Spanish secretary of state said, adding that “in two decades, the region has changed extraordinarily for the better.”
For that reason the European Union works on various levels, from bilateral relations with each country to that of the EU with Latin America and within the Ibero-American Conference.
After taking part in the Mexico-United States summit on Central America and the OAS meeting in Mexico, the Spanish secretary of state visited Chile last week to take part in the sixth bilateral meeting on policy consultation.
In Chile, Garcia Casas signed the eagerly awaited accord that will ease the validation of university degrees across both countries.
Despite the spending cutbacks caused by Spain’s economic crisis, the aid and cooperation in the region have been maintained, he said.
Meanwhile, the thousands of Spanish companies that operate in the region, besides investing and creating jobs and technology, have also learned corporate social responsibility, Garcia Casas said.