The Maduro regime announced today that it would file a formal complaint before the United Nations (UN) against Luis Almagro, the head of the Organization of American States (OAS), following comments he made earlier this week regarding a possible military intervention in Venezuela.
On Friday, Almagro was theorizing about a military effort with the goal of removing Maduro from power, saying that the international community “should not discount any option” to achieve his removal.
Vice president Delcy Rodriguez reacted to the comments by saying that Almagro was attempting to relive “the worst examples of imperialist military intervention in the region”, alluding to the long history of military aggression in Latin America by foreign powers, namely the United States.
Since becoming the secretary general of the OAS in 2015, Almagro has arguably been the most vociferous critic of the Maduro regime of any regional organization.
Lima Group Stresses Need for Peaceful, Negotiated End to Maduro Regime
The Lima Group issued a statement today repudiating Almagro’s comments, saying that it was “worried” by the suggestion of a military option to face the Venezuelan crisis, and “rejecting every course of action or call” for military intervention in the country.
A short statement posted by the Group on the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website reads:
[The Lima Group] reaffirms its compromise to contribute to the restoration of democracy in Venezuela and to the overcoming of the serious political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis that the country faces, through a peaceful and negotiated exit [of the Maduro regime]. To this end, we will continue to promote initiatives to this end within the framework of international rights.
At the same time, we express our worry and rejection of any course of action or statement that implies a military intervention or the exercise of violence, threats or the use of force in Venezuela.
Notably, the statement was not signed by every member of the Lima Group. Colombia, Canada, Guayana and Panama do not appear in the document.
The Lima Group is an international body made up of 14 continental nations who have vowed to work together to find a peaceful resolution to the Venezuelan crisis. The Group occasionally holds meetings and releases statements to the media on the situation in Venezuela.
Peru Fires Back at Regime Propaganda
The government of Peru fired back today against a Maduro regime propaganda campaign involving the repatriation of dozens of Venezuelans whom it claims have willingly chosen to return to their country after migrating for other places in Latin America.
In recent weeks, the Maduro regime has touted the Plan Vuelve a La Patria [Return to the Homeland Initiative] as a humanitarian effort to return Venezuelans it claims have suffered hardships abroad. The initiative–every step of which is highly publicized by regime outlets–involves transporting Venezuelans from places like Peru and Ecuador aboard buses or airplanes back to Venezuela.
Today, Peru’s migration chief, Eduardo Sevilla, said that an infinitesimal number of Venezuelans have taken up the Maduro regime’s offer to head back home: only 190 out of the 437,000 who have arrived in Peru in the last year.
In any single day, more Venezuelans come into Peru than the number who’ve gone back so far.
The Maduro regime continues to maintain that there is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, despite all evidence to the contrary. The regime also maintains that Venezuelans who leave the country looking to build better lives elsewhere are unsuccessful, hence the need for the repatriation initiative.
Such is the regime’s vitrol against Venezuelans who choose to leave the country that Maduro has publicly derided them on television on a number of occassions. In one such case, Maduro scoffed at migrants during a live television event, mocking them as “toilet cleaners” in reference to the manual labour that many of them have to carry out abroad in order to make ends meet.
According to the United Nations, at least 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2013 given the ongoing socio-economic collapse, which is the worst in the country’s modern history, and has precipitated one of the largest migrant crises that Latin America has ever seen.
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