The Lima Group met in Mexico City today to discuss the ongoing Venezuelan crisis, with an eye towards the May 20 presidential.
The group–which is made up of thirteen Latin American and Caribbean nations plus Canada, discussed measures that the bloc could take in response to the Maduro regime’s continued slide towards authoritarianism, including banning more regime officials from entering their respective countries.
Chilean ambassador Roberto Ampuero spoke before the meeting, and said that whatever measures the Group decided to take had to have a “concrete impact”. However, Ampuero’s call appears to not have had a major impact on today’s meeting, since it concluded without any tangible measures.
Instead, at the conclusion of the meeting, the Group held a press conference in which it called for the Maduro regime to cancel the May 20 election, which the Peruvian foreign affairs minister called not “transparent, fair, or free”.
Argentinian foreign affairs minister Jorge Faurie told reporters why the Lima Group continues to meet:
We are here because we want to help Venezuelans with this crisis that has spread throughout the region (…) we hope that Venezuelans can recover their democracy.
The Lima Group also issued a statement at the end of its meeting, which you can read below:
The president of the ruling PSUV party, Diosdado Cabello, tweeted about today’s Lima Group meeting by making a pun. Instead of referring to “El Grupo de Lima”, as the name would be in Spanish, Cabello referred to it is “el Grupo de Grima“. In Spanish, the word “grima” means a feeling of disgust.
Below, Cabello’s tweet:
The grupo de grima has re-appeared, the same imperialist boot-lickers with their imperialist mentality, we have a dignified People here that will yell at them this May 20, that we have decided to be free and that no one and nothing can stop it. We will Win! [sic]
OPEC: Venezuelan Oil Production Continues to Fall
The collapse of the Venezuelan oil industry continues unabated, as oil production fell further below the 1.5 million barrel per day mark in April, according to a monthly report from OPEC.
According to the report, Venezuela pumped 1.436 million barrels of oil per day, continuing a long-standing downward trend. The March figure represents a 31% reduction from August’s numbers, and 49% from the 2015 average of 2.65 million barrels per day.
The state-owned PDVSA oil company’s oil production figures are the lowest in thirty years (not counting the 2002-2003 oil strike).
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