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Regional Meeting Goes a Long Way to Defuse Guyana, Venezuela Crisis

The joint statement issued by the Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela, Irfan Ali and Nicolás Maduro, respectively, at the conclusion of their talks in St. Vincents and the Grenadines (SVG) on Dec. 14, is a significant victory for the nations of Ibero-America and the Caribbean, which together mobilized to head off the border conflict escalating between the two South American neighbors. The conflict had already opened the door to U.S. military intervention into the dispute, geared-up regime change operations against Venezuela, and possible war between the two nations. The border conflict remains unresolved, but the statement reports that on the mechanisms established for continuing dialogue, under regional auspices, over minimally an initial three-month timeframe.

Those three months provide time to get a discussion going on the bold, cross-region economic development projects which are needed to secure a lasting peace.

In the “Declaration of Dialogue and Peace of Argyle”—named after the place the talks were held—the two Presidents reiterate “their commitment to Latin America and the Caribbean remaining a Zone of Peace"; state that both nations will not, “directly or indirectly … threaten or use force against one another in any circumstances, including those consequential to any existing controversies between the two states"; and states their commitment “to the pursuance of good neighborliness, peaceful coexistence, and the unity of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Key to holding off U.S.-NATO military efforts to use the crisis as a pretext to “dig their claws” into the region is the following clause, which states that the two Presidents:

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