Mexico, Spain discuss differing stances toward Venezuela

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The leaders of Mexico and Spain said Wednesday they hope to be in a position to mediate a dialogue to resolve the political crisis in Venezuela, but also revealed differences in their approach.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador repeated Mexico’s policy of non-intervention during a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Lopez Obrador’s government has been criticized for not joining other countries in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guiado, who declared himself Venezuela’s interim president. Lopez Obrador said Mexico’s foreign policy would protect it against intervention in its affairs by other governments.

He said that he and Sanchez hope their governments could be in a position to facilitate talks in Venezuela.

“We would be in a position to participate, if asked, so that the two sides in conflict can sit and have a dialogue without conditions,” Lopez Obrador said.

But Spain joined France, Britain and Germany on Saturday in saying they would recognize Guaido as president unless Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro called a new presidential election within eight days.

Sanchez said he had been able to agree with leaders of other European nations to take a position that could lead to ending the suffering of the Venezuelan people.

“The government of Spain does not want to remove or impose governments,” Sanchez said. “The government of Spain, through democratic methods with fair, clean, transparent elections, wants Venezuelan society to find a way out of the crisis it has been living for many years.”