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Declaration of the Lima Group

13 February 2018
Información para la Prensa N°: 
046/18

The Foreign Ministers and representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, faced with the decision adopted by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council to unilaterally call presidential elections to be held on 22 April 2018 without having reached an agreement with the opposition, as was initially promised by the Government, and in accordance with their Declaration of 23 January 2018, state as follows:

1) Vigorously condemn said decision, which prevents the conduct of democratic, transparent and credible presidential elections with the participation of all Venezuelan political actors under international monitoring and standards, and reiterate that failure to comply with these conditions will result in elections lacking any legitimacy and credibility.

2) Urge the Venezuelan Government to reconsider the calling of presidential elections in accordance with the preceding paragraph and to set a new election date pursuant to national regulations.

3) Highlight that no free and fair elections can be held with political prisoners, without the full participation of political parties and detained or arbitrarily disqualified leaders, with an electoral authority under the control of the Government and without the participation of millions of Venezuelans abroad who cannot vote, in the context of an electoral process originally promoted by the constituent assembly, an illegitimate and unlawful body whose existence and decisions we do not recognize.

4) Take note of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights report titled "Democratic institutions, rule of law and human rights in Venezuela", which addresses the serious deterioration of the human rights situation and the severe political, economic and social crisis in Venezuela.

5) Take note of the decision announced by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to conduct a preliminary exam on the situation in Venezuela as regards crimes against humanity committed during the 2017 demonstrations.

6) Given the continuous and serious deterioration of democratic institutions in Venezuela, on the basis of the Declaration of Quebec City, which was adopted at the Third Summit of the Americas and states that "any unconstitutional alteration or interruption of the democratic order in a State of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the participation of that State's Government in the Summit of the Americas process", the Peruvian Government has decided to reconsider the participation of the Venezuelan Government in the Eighth Summit of the Americas, to be held in Lima. We, the members of the Lima Group, respect this decision.

7) Reiterate their concern over the growing deterioration of the humanitarian situation and urge the Venezuelan Government to open a humanitarian corridor to help mitigate the serious consequences of food and medicine shortages.

8) In the face of the displacement of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing from the serious crisis in the country, agree to coordinate efforts in order to deal with this difficult situation in an orderly, supportive and safe manner.

9) Commend the joint work and efforts of Chile and Mexico in order to reach an agreement between the parties in the negotiations promoted by the Dominican Republic.

Press release No. 046/18
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