Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski says he has asked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to help create a group of countries to support Venezuela amid a political and economic crisis that many fear will end up in bloodshed.
“I spoke with Secretary Kerry about this yesterday, about establishing a group, because there will come a day when there's an overnight collapse, when there's blood in the streets, and no one will be ready,” Kuczynski said.
He made the comment during a dialogue Thursday with Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald columnist Andrés Oppenheimer, held at the University of Miami as part of the Americas Conference series organized by the two newspapers.
Kuczynski, who is on an official visit to the United States, added that a Venezuela support group should include Brazil.
Never miss a local story.
“I told Kerry that this can't be done if it doesn't include Brazil, which is the biggest country in South America. It has to be part of this,” Kuczynski said during the event, attended by about 200 people. “If there's support from Brazil, we could do something important.”
Kuczynski also referred to the Venezuela crisis during his speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly, saying that a domestic dialogue is required in that country to resolve its deep political and social rifts as well as its shortages of food and medicine.
Kuczynski also said the Pacific Alliance — made up of Chile, Colombia, México and Perú — has achieved some “fundamentally political” advances. But he added that its members are developing countries that still must become modern nations.
“In the last 100 years, we have kept our places, but have not excelled,” Kuczynski said. “Now we have to make the big leap forward. That will be much more difficult in 30 years, because by then we will have a much older demographic profile.”
Many countries in the region have very young populations, he added, which makes it easier to make a needed leap forward.
“But to do that we have to invest in education,” said Kuczynski, who was introduced at the event by Miami Herald Media Company President and Publisher Alexandra Villoch and University of Miami President Julio Frenk.
Follow Enrique Flor on Twitter: en @kikeflor