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4th Statement of the Lima Group

23 January 2018
Información para la Prensa N°: 
015/18

The Foreign Ministers and representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, gathered in the city of Santiago, Chile, on 23 January 2018, in order to continue assessing the situation in Venezuela:

1.    Reject the Venezuelan Government's decision to call presidential elections to be held during the first quarter of this year. This decision precludes the conduct of democratic, transparent and credible presidential elections in accordance with international standards and betrays the principles of democracy and good faith for dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition.

2.    Urge that presidential elections be called sufficiently in advance, with the participation of all Venezuelan political actors and respecting all applicable guarantees, including the involvement of independent international monitors. Failure to comply with these conditions will result in elections lacking legitimacy and credibility.

3.    Condemn the acts of violence perpetrated and the resulting loss of human lives, and call on the Venezuelan Government to urgently adopt measures intended to guarantee the rule of law and the fundamental rights of individuals, as well as to restore social peace. We demand, moreover, an impartial investigation into the alleged extrajudicial executions.

4.    Commend individual and collective actions performed by various international community actors in order to promote the swift restoration of democracy in Venezuela, particularly the initiative and leadership shown by the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, in order to convene a dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition.

5.    Reiterate our full support for the democratically elected National Assembly and demand that its legitimate powers be restored, as an essential step towards the return of democracy in Venezuela.

6.    Reaffirm the illegitimacy and illegality of the acts of the National Constituent Assembly and condemn the measures adopted, which have resulted in the aggravation of social conflict and the undermining of liberties in Venezuela.

7.    Condemn the holding of political prisoners in Venezuela, whose unconditional release is an essential requirement for the pacification of the country.

8.    Deplore the Venezuelan Government's refusal of humanitarian aid despite the deterioration of the humanitarian crisis in the country, which is reflected in the rise in child malnutrition rates, the lack of food and medicine and the resurgence of eradicated diseases. We reiterate our willingness to offer assistance.

9.    Express our deep concern over the displacement of thousands of Venezuelans who cross the border every day due to the humanitarian crisis, and recognize the challenge this situation poses to the countries of the region, especially neighbouring countries, including the Caribbean States. We undertake to broaden and promote international cooperation actions in order to strengthen the capabilities of the countries of the region, and call on the international community, especially the United Nations System, to support these efforts.

10. Shall continue to assess the situation in Venezuela and will meet when necessary.

 

Santiago, Chile, 23 January 2018

 

Press release No. 015/18

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