OTTAWA: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will travel to Havana next week to press Venezuela’s top ally Cuba to stop propping up President Nicolas Maduro’s regime and to help bring an end to the Venezuela crisis.
The August 28 trip will be her second since June for talks on Venezuela.
“We believe that it is important to explore all possible paths to a resolution of the situation (in Venezuela),” Freeland told a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“With that in mind, I’ll be travelling next week to Cuba for a bilateral meeting with the Cuban foreign minister,” she said.
Canada is a prominent non-Latin American member of the 12-nation Lima Group, set up to find a solution to the Venezuelan crisis.
Along with more than 50 countries including the United States, it has sanctioned the Maduro regime and thrown its backing behind National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate acting president.
Freeland’s office said the Cuba visit will touch on several urgent issues, including getting humanitarian aid into Venezuela and the Communist-run island’s purchases of Venezuelan oil.
Pompeo commented: “We have consistently said that there cannot be free and fair elections so long as Maduro is on the scene. And we continue to work towards achieving that end on behalf of the Venezuelan people.”