MEXICO CITY – President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was unwilling on Friday to comment on Nicolas Maduro’s cry of “Viva Mexico” during his inauguration for a second term as Venezuela’s head of state.
Mexico, Lopez Obrador told reporters, is a “friend of all the peoples and governments of the world” and non-intervention is a principle of Mexican foreign policy.
On Jan. 4, the 14-nation Lima Group, which includes Mexico, formally asked Maduro to cancel Thursday’s inauguration, citing concerns about the legitimacy of last year’s presidential election.
Mexico, however, disavowed the request and was the only member of the Lima Group to send a representative to the inauguration.
The United States and the European Union likewise reject the validity of the Venezuelan electoral process and the Maduro government, while China and Russia remain firm allies of Caracas.
Maduro’s effusive message was interpreted by Mexican media as a thank you for the presence at the inauguration of the charge d’affaires at Mexico’s embassy in Caracas.
The presence of the Venezuelan president at the inauguration of Lopez Obrador on Dec. 1 generated protests from Mexican opposition parties, as well as street demonstrations both for and against Maduro.