Canadian, Cuban foreign ministers address revolving Venezuela crisis

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Havana, May 17: Canadian foreign minister has on Thursday addressed Venezuelan crisis with her Cuban counterpart during his half-day official visit to Havana, as per the government’s reports, shortly after the island said it was keen to assist mediate.

According to Reuters news reports, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had reached out to Cuba, Venezuelan longtime ally, around two weeks ago on behalf of the Lima Group, a bloc of Latin American nations, mostly, seeking a peaceful resolution to Venezuela’s standoff.

During an interview, a top-level Cuban envoy said Havana was keen to assist, but the leftist ally Venezuelan Presiden Nicolas Maduro would need to be at the table.

In a tweet on Thursday, after concluding the meeting with Chrystia Freeland, the Candian foreign minister, Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez said, “Cuba ratifies its willingness to contribute to initiatives that promote respectful dialogue with the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

Both the leaders are slated to continue their discussions, according to the Canadian foreign minister.

“Cuba has a long history of playing a constructive role in settling the conflict in which it has a stake – in Angola, Central America, and Colombia,” said William LeoGrande, a professor of government at American University.

“Cuba won’t abandon its ally and won’t agree to any solution that the Maduro government opposes, but it may encourage Maduro to be more flexible at the bargaining table,” he added.

Freeland’s visit to Havana comes as discussions were underway in Norway between the Venezuelan government and opposition, a government envoy said.



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