Foreign ministers from Unasur (Union of South American Nations) will be drafting a statement calling for peace and dialogue to end the month-long clashes in Venezuela when they be meeting on Wednesday in Santiago de Chile. The meeting and agenda have the support from the Venezuelan government.
Taking advantage of the presence of representatives from all country members to the inauguration of President Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Unasur convened the ministerial meeting sponsored by Brazilian diplomacy, which was accepted by Venezuela.
The clashes and continued street protests in Venezuela have left at least 25 people dead plus hundreds injured and arrested, but the confrontation spurred mainly by students and an iron-fist repression by the National Guard and government financed goons called 'colectivos', continues to spiral.
Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro was expected in Santiago for the taking office ceremony but his trip was delayed several times until finally cancelled precisely because of the worsening political climate and violence.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff speaking with her country's media in Santiago anticipated that Unasur would be naming a commission to address the Venezuelan situation and will try to help build an appropriate dialogue and consensus environment so that peace talks can be implemented.
The Unasur consultation process is the result of a flash round of visits by Venezuelan foreign minister Elías Jaua to Mercosur member countries and the trip by Brazilian foreign affairs advisor Marcos Aurelio García to Venezuela where he met several hours with Maduro.
Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa said you always miss friends and attributed the absence of Maduro to the domestic crisis in Venezuela. He added it is very clear what is going on: they are trying to destabilize a government legitimately elected and we won't let that happen.
I'm looking forward for a Unasur statement tomorrow of unrestricted support for constitutional rule in Venezuela and its legitimately elected government, said Correa.
However the Peruvian president Ollanta Humala did not want to talk about Maduro's absence but said that the main issue of the Unasur meeting is to support above all the principle of non interference.
Venezuelan foreign minister Jaua said that Maduro was unable to make it because he is leading a battle in defense of democracy and political stability in Venezuela.
Chile's new foreign minister Heraldo Muñoz said he would be meeting with Jaua on Wednesday on the sides of the Unasur discussion to address several issues besides the current situation in Venezuela.
Argentina's Hector Timerman said that Venezuela deserves all the support from South American countries and I'm sure that will be the case with the Unasur summit.