Lima (Sputnik) – The Lima Group does not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolás Maduro’s new presidential term in Venezuela, which will begin on the 10th of this month, and urged the president not to assume the charge and transfer the powers of the Executive Branch until new elections are held.
“The Lima Group does not recognize the legitimacy of the new presidential term of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro is urged not to assume the presidency and transfer power to the National Assembly until new elections are held,” said the Peruvian foreign minister, Néstor Popolizio, when reading a statement at a press conference.
The text adds that the countries of the Lima Group “reaffirm their unequivocal and firm condemnation of the rupture of the constitutional order and the rule of law in Venezuela,” noting that only through the “full restoration” of democracy, the Caribbean country will be able to face the social, economic and political causes that led to the humanitarian crisis it is currently suffering.
The 13 signatory countries of the letter agreed to “reevaluate” the state of diplomatic relations with Caracas based on the “restoration of democracy” in the Caribbean nation. In addition, the Lima Group “agreed to prohibit the entry of Venezuelan high officials and prevent the realization of financial movements as allowed by the regulations of each country,” says the statement.
“As allowed by their domestic laws, prevent high ranked officials of the Venezuelan regime from entering the territory of the countries of the Lima Group,” the head of Peruvian diplomacy said in the company of his peers from the member countries.
They also agreed to “draw up lists of natural and legal persons with whom financial and banking entities of their countries should not operate or should exercise special due diligence, prevent their access to the financial system and, if necessary, freeze their funds and other assets or economic resources,” according to the statement.
The OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, said he supports the declaration signed by 13 of the 14 countries of the Lima Group and requested that the National Assembly (unicameral parliament), with an opposition majority, of Venezuela assume the presidency on January 10 instead of Nicolás Maduro.
“We support and declare the Lima Group, Nicolás Maduro is illegitimate, and we support the provisional assumption of the National Assembly on January 10, as has been duly stipulated by the Supreme Court of Justice, both legitimate and constitutional powers,” affirmed Almagro through the social network Twitter.
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Guyana and Saint Lucia make up the Lima Group, however, Mexico refrained from signing the declaration.
“The Government of Mexico, in faithful pursuit of its constitutional principles of foreign policy, will refrain from issuing any kind of pronouncement regarding the legitimacy of the Venezuelan government, the self-determination of the peoples and the non-intervention are constitutional principles that Mexico must follow,” Zúñiga said at the meeting of the Lima Group, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico.
Zúñiga attended the meeting of foreign ministers of the group instead of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard.
He added that “the promotion of dialogue between the parties to find a peaceful solution to the situation in Venezuela will continue to be a priority of Mexico’s foreign policy, therefore, this time Mexico will not accompany the text that is now being discussed.”
However, Zúñiga said in front of the foreign ministers that the Government of Mexico “reiterates its concern for the dynamics that have altered the tranquility and prosperity of the Venezuelan people, as well as the situation regarding the respect for human rights that they live.”
Earlier, on January 4, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said that the participation, through a video call, of the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, demonstrates how the Lima Group responds to the interests of the US power.
“What we have been affirming since the creation of this group of cartelized governments against Venezuela, which in theory does not belong to the US Government: they meet to receive orders from Donald Trump (US president) through Mike Pompeo. humiliating subordination!” expressed through a message posted on the social network Twitter.
Pompeo’s participation in this meeting arises after the meetings he held with the presidents of Colombia, Iván Duque, and of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and in which the situation of Venezuela was also addressed.
Translated by JRE/AR