Statement of the fourth meeting of the Lima Group on the situation in Venezuela
Spanish version (.pdf)
January 23, 2018
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, along with other representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, gathered in Santiago de Chile on January 23rd, 2018, to continue evaluating the situation in Venezuela and agreed on the following 10 points.
We reject the decision of the Government of Venezuela to hold presidential elections in Venezuela during the first quarter of this year. This decision renders it impossible to hold democratic, transparent and credible elections, in accordance with international standards, and contradicts democratic principles and principles of good faith in the context of the dialogue between the Government and the opposition.
We demand that presidential elections be called with reasonable advance notice, with the participation of all Venezuelan political players and with all pertinent guarantees, including the participation of independent international observers. Elections that do not comply with these conditions will lack legitimacy and credibility.
We condemn the acts of violence and the resulting loss of human life, and we urge the Government of Venezuela to adopt urgent measures to guarantee the rule of law and fundamental human rights, and to restore social peace. Furthermore, we demand an impartial investigation into alleged extrajudicial executions.
We highlight the individual and collective actions taken by various actors in the international community to promote a prompt return to democratic normalcy in Venezuela, particularly the initiative and leadership of the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, in convening a dialogue between the government and the opposition.
We reiterate our full support for the democratically elected National Assembly, and we demand the restoration of its legitimate inherent powers, as an indispensable step towards the return of democracy to Venezuela.
We reaffirm the lack of legitimacy and legality of the actions of the national constituent assembly and condemn the measures that it has adopted, as well as the fact that these have led to deepening social conflict and the diminishment of liberties in Venezuela.
We condemn Venezuela’s ongoing detention of political prisoners, whose unconditional release is an indispensable requirement to peace.
We regret that even as the humanitarian situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, the Government of Venezuela maintains its refusal to accept humanitarian assistance. This situation is reflected in an increase in the rate of child malnutrition, in the shortage of food and medical supplies, and in the return of diseases that had previously been eradicated. We reiterate our willingness to provide aid.
We express our deep concern regarding the exodus of thousands of Venezuelans who, because of the humanitarian crisis in their country, cross the border every day, and we acknowledge the challenge this situation represents for countries of the region, especially for neighboring countries, including the Caribbean states. We commit to broaden and promote international-cooperation actions to strengthen the capacity of countries of the region, and we call upon the international community, and the United Nations in particular, to support these efforts.
We will continue to monitor the situation in Venezuela and we will meet again in due course.
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