Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Katrougalos’ statement on the recent developments in Venezuela (29 January 2019)
Greece stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela, it supports democracy, and endeavours to the restoration of social peace in a very polarised society, in a very polarised political system. And our long-standing belief is that the sole method whereby these differences can be overcome is through political dialogue.
From the first moment, we sought, a united European Union, to play a similar role, promoting the idea of a group of countries, including those countries of the European Union which for historical reasons have an influence over the region, to undertake this mediating role. Initiatives by other countries such as Uruguay and Mexico are focused along the same lines. Moreover, Pope Francis’ recent intervention was in the same vein.
We consider it a key issue for the EU to, first of all, hold a unified position; secondly, for us not to drag ourselves behind the initiatives of other great Powers; thirdly, for complete respect of Democracy to exist; for the involvement of the army not to be permitted to be a factor which will shape developments, as certain sides of the opposition powers seem to be requesting.
I conveyed these positions, also expressing my support for her efforts to date, to the High Representative of the European Union, Federica Mogherini. We shall also endeavour for the same positions to prevail on Thursday and Friday at the informal Council of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs, precisely because we wish for the EU to be a leading proponent for peace, and for it not to be a factor that will worsen or fail to solve problems, as we have unfortunately seen occurring numerous times in other countries around the world.
We do not want Venezuela to become yet another Libya in South America. We want it to enjoy democracy and prosperity, and for its people to be united and indeed able to exercise their democratic rights within a republic that is exclusively for their own benefit.