The rejection of U.S. sanctions was backed by all three former leaders who brokered dialogue in Venezuela.
The former Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Zapatero, says the United States’ imposition of sanctions on Venezuela, as well as President Trump’s talk of a possible military intervention, are “profoundly inconvenient.”
In a communique, Zapatero said that progress has been taken towards a peaceful outcome in Venezuela, and the actions of the U.S. administration “do not contribute to an intelligent and constructive solution.”
The declaration was also signed by the former presidents of the Dominican Republic and Panama, Leonel Fernandez and Martin Torrijos. Since 2015, the three former leaders have been leading international efforts to broker a dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition.
Their text calls on the international community to back this search for an understanding between political sectors in Venezuela. “Reviving confrontation does not help, but only increases instability and leads to a dead end.”
Zapatero and his colleagues are making their appeal two days after the White House announced severe financial sanctions on the Venezuelan government and the state oil company, PDVSA.
The new sanctions aim to prevent Venezuela from raising new loans on U.S. financial markets. They are expected to make it difficult for the government of President Nicolas Maduro to restructure its debt payments, and are likely to aggravate the shortages of some foods and other products for Venezuelan consumers.
Earlier in the month, President Trump said he did not exclude a military option in Venezuela.
The three international mediators say they are determined to continue their efforts “in favor of peace and stability in Venezuela.”