By Marieta Cazzaré
The Lima Group released an official note after the end of a meeting Monday, in Santiago, Chile, in which it recognizes that Venezuela is facing “a humanitarian, political, economic, and moral crisis generated by the illegitimate and dictatorial regime of Nicolás Maduro, which constitutes a threat to international peace and security, with regional and global effects.”
The document includes 17 topics and urges UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the General Assembly, and the Security Council to take action to prevent the progressive deterioration of peace and security, and to provide humanitarian aid for the people and Venezuelan emigrants.
The Lima Group also demands Maduro’s immediate departure. “A crucial condition for the reestablishment of democracy and constitutional order through free, just, and transparent elections, being followed and observed internationally.”
The text also says that the group acknowledges Juan Guaidó as president and condemns the human rights violations systematically perpetrated by Maduro’s administration, and calls for the immediate release of political prisoners, and the end of arbitrary detentions, torture and violent actions of para-military groups.
Lima Group representatives also ask the international community—especially China, Russia, Cuba, and Turkey—to favor the transition and the process of restoration of democracy in Venezuela. They oppose any threat that may include a military intervention in the country, criticize any foreign mismanagement, and call for the immediate end of intelligence services, and military security bodies and forces in the country with no support from the Venezuelan Constitution.
Brazilian chancellor Ernesto Araújo attended the meeting, which was joined by representatives from 13 countries and aimed at discussing Venezuela’s political and economic situation. The assembly was the 12th meeting by the Lima Group, formed by Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guiana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, and Venezuela. Ecuador watched the gathering as an observer.
Chile’s Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero chaired the sitting and said, “The policy of the Lima Group is very clearly in search of a democratic, political, non-violent solution to the tragedy facing the people of Venezuela.”