Foreign minister Elías Jaua said that Caracas will not accept international mediation in the current situation faced by Venezuela but nevertheless thanked Uruguay's president Jose Mujica for his efforts and knowledge about what's going on in his country.
Jaua was in Montevideo on Thursday as part of a flash round of contacts with Mercosur members to explain the situation in Venezuela but also to abort an attempt by the Organization of American States to discuss the issue.
The minister justified the police and national guard actions in different Venezuelan cities and condemned the 'violent groups' which have been challenging and battling in the streets the elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Mujica is always mediating in favor of Venezuela all over the world. He's one of those persons that really understands the Venezuelan people, and if anybody really knows what is going on in Venezuela, that is president Mujica. But with the current situation we don't consider necessary the mediation of any country, said Jaua who on Wednesday evening arrived in Paraguay, early morning Thursday Argentina, later Uruguay from where he left for Brazil.
However Jaua did request Mujica's attendance to a special meeting of Unasur, where president Maduro will inform to his peers the Venezuelan situation.
Unasur is far more efficient than OAS, and that is the reason for the round of visits to Mercosur members, added the minister.
Jaua blamed the 'violent groups' and 'neo-fascists' for the protests against the government of Maduro which had its peak last 12 February. That was the launching point for a major escalade of violence and the arrest of Leopoldo Lopez was ordered since he was responsible for creating the situation.
He also claimed there is an coordinated international media campaign of 'half truths' and images 'out of context' which do not correspond to Venezuela, 'with no dates or places mentioned; it's the big media chains that have articulated the show against President Maduro'. He added that international Hollywood actors have been 'activated' to join the campaign.
However the government has used proportional force to contain the violent groups, argued Jaua. Freedom of assembly is guaranteed in Venezuela. Opposition protests are allowed, there is full freedom of expression.
He insisted that the violent nature of the conflict to which Venezuela has fallen victim is political and not because of social unrest; the majority of Venezuelans have not participated in the protests and those who have, are political groups promoted with that only objective.
Further on Jaua blamed the United States for financing 'these violent groups and claimed the campaign really took off in 2009 when the indefinite re-election for government posts was approved in Venezuela, and 'again emerged on 12 February'. He denied the existence of political prisoners revealing there were only 41 people remanded and they are under custody of criminal courts, because they have been involved in criminal actions, not political actions.
Finally he mentioned that the Venezuelan Bolivarian government has been through more elections than years in office (1999/2014). ”We have won 17 out of 18 elections, which is clear evidence of the strong support the revolution has, and the government of President Maduro despite the loss last year of our great commander, Hugo Chavez.