The Lima Group met today in Santiago de Chile to discuss the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. Today’s meeting marks the 12th time that the Group has met since its inception in August 2017.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. Notably absent was Mexico, whose government under Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has distanced itself from the Group and its goal of promoting a peaceful, democratic transition away from the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
The Group issued a statement which was shared in Spanish on the website of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Part of the statement calls on the United Nations to “take action” on Venezuela in order to halt the “deterioration of peace and security” in the country, and to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents of the country.
The Lima Group’s call on the United Nations comes five days after United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres tweeted the following on his official account:
The statement also addresses the role that other countries are playing in the Venezuelan crisis:
9. We exhort the international community to support the transition process and the establishment of democracy in Venezuela, in particular Russia, China, Cuba, and Turkey because of the negative impact that their support for the illegitimate Maduro regime has on our region.
Canada Sanctions 43 Individuals with Connections to Regime
During the meeting, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland announced that Ottawa was sanctioning 43 individuals that it considers have ties to the Maduro regime.
Global Affairs Canada justified the sanctions in the following way:
These measures are being taken in response to the Maduro regime’s anti-democratic actions, particularly relating to the repression and persecution of the members of the interim government, censorship, and excessive use of force against civil society, undermining the independence of the judiciary and other democratic institutions.
The sanctioned individuals include Carabobo state governor Rafael Lacava, and Zulia state governor Omar Pietro. The full list of sanctioned individuals can be found here.
Venezuela Calls New Sanctions “Illegal”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza called Canada’s new sanctions against 43 named individuals “illegal” and “arbitrary”.
Part of the statement he shared on his Twitter account reads:
In its eagerness to show loyalty to the imperial aggression against Venezuela, the government of Justin Trudeau has chosen to brazenly violate International Law [sic], sinking the historic ties of friendship between the Canadian and Venezuelan peoples, and soiling the legacy of his father, who during his years of public service always demonstrated respect for the diversity of the peoples of the world.
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