Friday, 08 November 2019
Information for the Press N°:
The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, members of the Lima Group, gathered in Brasilia:
- Reiterate and ratify their support for Interim President Juan Guaidó and the National Assembly as legitimate and democratically elected authorities, and for the Venezuelan people who repudiate the dictatorship through peaceful protests, such as the one called for 16 November 2019.
- Support, in the absence of the appropriate conditions to hold free elections, the agreement approved by the National Assembly on 17 September 2019, which ratifies the proposed political roadmap as a way out of the crisis and confirms Juan Guaidó as interim president in charge of the country beyond 5 January 2020 and until the end of the usurpation, and the holding of free, fair and transparent presidential elections with international observers.
- Reiterate their support for a political, peaceful and democratic solution led by Venezuelans as the way to address the serious and complex crisis in Venezuela. They also reiterate their conviction that only the full restoration of democracy can resolve the political, economic, humanitarian and human rights crisis. They reject the aspiration of the illegitimate regime to call for early parliamentary elections, the sole purpose of which is to dissolve the legitimate and democratically elected National Assembly.
- Warn that the self-styled “National Board” of the illegitimate regime does not offer the assurances required for a credible process of dialogue and negotiation with the National Assembly aimed at resolving the crisis through the holding of free, fair and transparent presidential elections in Venezuela.
- Decide to renew and expand the joint efforts of members of the Lima Group to expose and denounce, in all multilateral and regional forums, the crisis caused by Maduro’s illegitimate regime.
- Agree to carry out a concentrated and coordinated effort with countries of other regions to expose and denounce the crisis caused by Maduro’s illegitimate regime with a view to obtaining their cooperation for a democratic transition in Venezuela.
- Agree to cooperate in order to present to the international community the seriousness of the economic, political and humanitarian situation in Venezuela by, for instance, gathering testimonies of Venezuelan migrants and refugees regarding violations of their human rights in that country.
- Condemn the explicit bonds between Maduro’s regime and unlawful armed groups and terrorist organizations, and the protection this grants to members of the ELN and other unlawful armed groups who have found a safe haven in Venezuela from which to carry out their terrorist and criminal activities. This represents a clear threat to the peace, stability and security of the region
- Reject the statements of spokespersons of the illegitimate regime who advocate for and incite violence in different countries of the region. In particular, they strongly reject the direct threats made by the Venezuelan dictatorship, such as those involving the use of missiles against civilians in Colombian territory.
- Urge those governments that support the illegitimate regime in Venezuela to support a democratic transition in that country. In particular, they call on Cuba to be part of the solution to the crisis. They reiterate that their call for peace and prosperity for the people must go hand in hand with respect for the rule of law and the exercise of democracy.
- Note that dialogue initiatives sponsored by various actors are repeatedly transformed by Maduro’s regime into dilatory manoeuvres to remain in power, thus frustrating the democratic will of the Venezuelan people. Therefore, future dialogue initiatives must be carefully assessed by the international community.
- Strongly condemn the alarming human rights situation in Venezuela and reaffirm their unwavering support for Resolution 42/25, adopted by the Human Rights Council, which creates an independent international fact-finding mission with a broad and robust mandate to investigate the serious and systematic human rights violations committed in Venezuela since 2014, in order to ensure full accountability for perpetrators and justice for victims, and to prevent any repetition of such violations.
- Condemn the brutal murder of Edmundo Rada, leader of the Voluntad Popular party, call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Venezuela, and urge the international community, especially the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to act promptly to restore the rights of the Venezuelan people and protect their integrity.
- Deeply deplore the election of Nicolás Maduro’s illegitimate and dictatorial regime to the United Nations Human Rights Council. This election, an unfortunate occurrence that must not be repeated, represents a further abuse of the human rights of all Venezuelans and an undermining of the United Nation’s international human rights system.
- Share the concerns of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the International Labour Organization regarding the recurring violations of workers’ and employers’ rights in Venezuela, and deplore the lack of cooperation of the illegitimate regime with that organization.
- Reaffirm their full willingness to continue to make efforts in other forums –such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and under the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR)– to intensify legal, judicial and police cooperation with a view to adopting concrete actions against persons and entities connected with the illegitimate regime who are involved in acts of corruption, money laundering activities, drug trafficking, and terrorism and its financing.
- Commit to adopt additional pressure measures –excluding the use of force– on Maduro’s regime, including specific sanctions to promote a democratic transition, in accordance with their respective national legal systems.
- Reiterate that maintaining the “status quo” in Venezuela is not an option, a fact that was also recognized by the International Contact Group (ICG). They highlight the meeting held by the Lima Group with the ICG in New York on 25 September 2019, and their decision to work in a coordinated and complementary manner, as well as to promote cooperation with other actors in the international community to support a political, peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela.
- Express their willingness to hold an international conference with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank on the sidelines of its General Assembly in March 2020 in Barranquilla, Colombia, to support the efforts of Juan Guaidó’s legitimate government for the implementation of its Plan País, designed to rescue Venezuela from its serious economic crisis and social collapse.
- Recognize the importance of the financial contributions already made and reiterate the need to strengthen financial assistance for the host countries of Venezuelan migrants. In that regard, they welcome the call made at the “International Solidarity Conference on the Crisis of Refugees and Migrants of Venezuela”, held in Brussels, on 28-29 October 2019, to mobilize significant additional funds, including the holding of a pledging conference.
- Welcome the decision to hold the 1st Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Quito Process as a mechanism for regional cooperation to face the challenges posed by the massive migration of Venezuelan nationals into Latin American and Caribbean countries.
- Highlight the participation in this meeting of representatives of Ecuador, El Salvador, the United States, the European Union and the OAS secretariat, with whom they examined converging views, and their willingness to continue supporting regional efforts that lead to the holding of free, fair and transparent presidential elections with international observation, for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.
- Decide to remain permanently in session.
Brasilia, 08 November 2019
Originally published at https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/en/announcements/news/lima-group-declaration-4