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Lima Group Declaration

Friday 4 January 2019
Information for the Press N°: 
002/19

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, in the face of the beginning of the illegitimate second term of Nicolás Maduro's regime in Venezuela on 10 January 2019 (2019-2025):

    Reiterate that the elections held in Venezuela on 20 May 2018 were not legitimate because of the lack of participation of all Venezuelan political actors and independent international monitors, and its failure to meet international guarantees and standards for a free, fair, transparent and democratic process. As a result, the legitimacy of the new presidential of Nicolás Maduro's regime, which will begin on 10 January 2019, is not recognized.

    Ratify their full support for and recognition of the National Assembly, which was legitimately elected on 6 December 2015, as a democratically elected constitutional institution in Venezuela.

    Urge Nicolás Maduro to abstain from assuming the presidency on 10 January 2019, to respect the powers of the National Assembly and to temporarily delegate the powers of the executive branch until new democratic presidential elections are held.

    Underscore the importance of respecting the integrity, autonomy and independence of the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice, legitimately convened in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution for the full force of the rule of law.

    Reaffirm their unequivocal and firm condemnation of the interruption of the constitutional order and the rule of law in Venezuela, stressing that only through the full restoration of democracy, as soon as possible, and respect for human rights, will the causes of the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis afflicting Venezuela be addressed.

    Express their firm belief that Venezuelans are responsible for finding a solution to the political crisis and therefore reiterate their continuing willingness to support political and diplomatic initiatives aimed at restoring constitutional order, democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela by holding a new electoral process with democratic guarantees.

    Express their willingness to continue promoting initiatives at multilateral fora, especially at the Organization of American States and the United Nations Human Rights Council, to help in the restoration of democratic order and respect for human rights in Venezuela.

    Call on all OAS member countries to reaffirm their support for the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, with a view to contributing to the restoration of democratic order in Venezuela.

    Condemn any provocation or military deployment which threatens peace and security in the region. They urge Nicolás Maduro's regime and the Venezuelan Armed Forces to cease actions that violate the sovereignty rights of neighbouring countries. In this regard, they express their deep concern following the interception of a ship conducting seismic studies by Venezuelan navy in the exclusive economic zone of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on 22 December 2018

    Reiterate their deep concern over the serious political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which has led to a mass exodus of Venezuelan migrants and asylum-seekers as a result of antidemocratic, oppressive and dictatorial acts and policies carried out by Nicolás Maduro's regime, which can only be redressed through the full restoration of democratic order and respect for human rights. They renew their commitment, as far as possible, to continue providing assistance for Venezuelan migrants, in addition to promoting and developing regional coordination initiatives to face this crisis. In this regard, they welcome the inclusion for the first time of the migrant and refugee crisis in Venezuela in the Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 released by the United Nations, as well as the appointment of the Joint Special Representative of IOM and UNHCR.

    Express their concern over the impact of the political crisis in Venezuela on the economy and security of countries in the region.

    Urge the Venezuelan regime to immediately allow the entry of humanitarian assistance for the people of Venezuela, with a view to avoiding the escalation of the humanitarian and public health crisis and its international effects.

    Agree to:

    Reassess the status or level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, for the restoration of its democracy and constitutional order, and the need to protect its nationals and their interests.

    In accordance with their national laws, prevent high-rank government officials of the Venezuelan regime from entering the territory of countries of the Lima Group; make lists of individuals and legal entities with whom financial and banking institutions of their countries shall not conduct business or shall have special due diligence, prevent them from entering their financial system and, if necessary, freeze their funds and other assets or economic resources.

    Consider with a strict criterion loan applications from Nicolás Maduro's regime to international and regional financial organizations in which they are parties.

    Suspend military cooperation with Nicolás Maduro's regime, including a halt to the transfer of arms under sections 6 and 7 of the Arms Trade Treaty, in addition to evaluating the grant of flying permits for Venezuelan military aircraft in cases of humanitarian assistance.

    Strengthen bonds with non-member countries of the Lima Group in order to inform them of the Group's actions, the urgency of the situation in Venezuela and the need to jointly work for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.

    As regards the request submitted by Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru to the International Criminal Court for it to investigate whether crimes against humanity have been perpetrated in Venezuela, call on other countries to support the request and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to expedite the investigation process.

    Urge other members of the international community to adopt similar measures to those agreed by the Lima Group against Nicolás Maduro's regime with a view to restoring democracy in Venezuela.

Press Release No. 002/19

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