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  • Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in TeleSUR TV studio in Caracas, Venezuela, May 17, 2019.

    Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in TeleSUR TV studio in Caracas, Venezuela, May 17, 2019. | Photo: TeleSUR

Published 17 May 2019

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza hailed Norway's mediation efforts and stressed that "knowing how to listen, agree and comply is requiered."

During an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Venezuela's Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza addressed some of the the highlights of the current political, economic and diplomatic situation his country is going through.

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With regard to the "exploratory phase" of dialogue taking place in Norway between representatives of the President Nicolas Maduro administration and delegates of the opposition Juan Guaido, Arreaza recalled that his government has always insisted that dialogue is a "must" and much more when Venezuela is under attack.

Representatives from the International Contact Group for Venezuela, which includes several Latin American and European countries have made five visits to the country in the last three months, informed Arreaza. The vice-ministers of foreign affairs from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden and Uruguay who all belong to the group made a special visit to Venezuela Thursday and met with Maduro where they were asked to understand the Bolivarian Revolution without outside biases.

Important meeting with the International Contact Group visiting Venezuela. I expressed my willingness to resolve internal differences through dialogue and we talked about the economic aggressions of the US empire against our People.

It is important to "understand the Venezuelan reality by taking into account the historical struggle for the control of oil resources, which happens between, on the one hand, a local bourgeoisie wanting to appropriate oil revenues for its own benefit and, on the other hand, a government seeking to distribute oil wealth through housing, health and education for its people," emphasized the Venezuelan diplomat during the interview.

Minister Arreaza did not provide details about the dialogue's exploratory phase, however, he thanked Norway for its willingness to contribute to peace.

"We are very grateful to the kingdom of Norway for its efforts to bring parties together. ... Dialogue in democracy is always good news. ... There is a historical conflict that must be managed in peace (and) knowing how to listen, agree and comply is requiered."

Regarding the Lima Group meeting, which was scheduled for this week but suspended the foreign minister said that such suspention reflects a change in the group's strategy, which was "surprised" by the recently publicized talks in Norway.

"It is the anti-dialogue group. ... It's a group of right-wing Latin American governments that reflect U.S. policy. ... However, Venezuela is willing to work with these governments," stressed the Venezuelan minister who explained that although the Lima Group rejected a military intervention in Venezuela, it has fostered political conditions that make the U.S. believe that such an intervention is feasible.

Speaking about ​​recent foreign-driven actions against Venezuela, Arreaza highlighted the unfortunate events that took place at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. Thursday and thanked U.S. peace activists who defended that building for over a month.

On May 16, United States local and national security forces invaded Venezuela's sovereign embassy in D.C. to arrest the remaining Protection Collective members inside the building trying to keep it in the hands of the democratically elected Maduro adminstration. 

"First of all a recognition to the activists who protected the embassy. ... Their moral strength and integrity were greater than all the police forces trying to evict them through the back door," said Arreaza and commented that "it was a sad spectacle and a violation of the Vienna Convention."

This multilateral agreement, he recalled, obliges any country to respect and protect other countries' embassy even when there is a rupture of diplomatic relations or armed conflicts.

"We do respect international law. ... The U.S. sits on the United Nations Security Council but threatens other countries with war," he said and pointed out that "the time for diplomacy is now, I hope they understand... all their strategies against Venezuela have failed. ... (Trumps') advisers have committed one awkward event after another," referring to the failed 'humanitarian aid' in February, massive electrical sabotages on Venezuela in March, and May's coup attempt against Maduro.   

Minister Arreaza indicated that similar actions against the U.S. embassy in Caracas could be undertaken, if his country followed the 'Principle of Reciprocity' tradition. However, Venezuela will not do so because the Bolivarian government does respect international law.

With respect to what could happen to the Venezuelan building in D.C., he said that it would be absurd for the Venezuelan opposition to occupy the Bolivarian embassy and perform administrative tasks from there.

"If any Venezuelan went to the embassy, ​​he could not process a visa, apostille a document or perform similar actions. It would be absurd."

Arreaza stressed again that the "brazen" disrespect for international law that took place at the Venezuelan embassy has become "a great triumph" for both his country and peace activists who demonstrated "seeds of change" that will benefit sooner than later the world and the United States.

As a message to all Venezuelans without distinction of political positions, Minister Arreaza said that violence will not be the means to solve domestic disputes.

"We have a Constitution which cost a lot and we must protect it. Venezuela needs a peaceful and democratic road. Within that, there is no intervention," he recalled and added that "we all have to reject war and blockades, and bet on dialogue, democracy and peace. ... Problems will not be solved with aggression, insult and violence," said the diplomat.


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