efe-epaWashington

Ecuadorian Vice President Maria Alejandra Vicuña believes that Venezuela ought to be present at the Summit of the Americas to be held in Peru next April and rejects any outside interference in the crisis-torn Caribbean country.

"It's important that Venezuela be present to hear the different positions on its problems, and above all, the recommendations and the suggestions. We will never be in favor of intervention of any kind, much less military," she told EFE this Tuesday in Washington.

The Ecuadorian vice president, on a visit to the United States until this Friday, said Venezuela should be on hand at this important meeting of the Americas' heads of state and government "because it is precisely there, in that place of regional integration, where things should be discussed," and "not necessarily in the media."

Peru announced a week ago that it was withdrawing its invitation to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a decision backed by the 12 countries of the Lima Group and by the United States.

That is, a bloc of nations with more than 90 percent of the population of the Americas wants Venezuela left out for the first time from this meeting of heads of state and government. The bloc includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, plus the United States.

For now, only Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador, allies of Caracas, have expressed their opposition to the exclusion of Maduro, while no country has threatened not to attend in protest against the decision.

Asked if Ecuador will protest or apply pressure so that Venezuela is again included, the Ecuadorian vice president dismissed both possibilities.

"We don't protest or put pressure on other countries, but our position is clear with regard to international law: President Lenin Moreno has made it very clear that in a Summit of the Americas, all countries should be represented," she said.

Ecuador does not belong to the Lima Group, established in 2017 when it seemed impossible for the Organization of American States (OAS) to pass measures to help Venezuela through its economic and political crises, since they would all be blocked by Caribbean nations.

"We don't agree with any type of meddling, we always reject any kind of intervention in the internal matters of other countries, even more so if it's a military intervention - don't even talk about that," Vicuña said when asked about the Lima Group.

"We're perfectly respectful about the positions taken by different countries, but we say once more that respect for international law and dialogue are the best way to solve conflicts," she said.

By Cristina Garcia Casado