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Lima Group urges Venezuela to return to democracy

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Lima Group urges Venezuela  return to democracy

Declaration of the third meeting of the Lima Group on the situation in Venezuela

 

The Foreign Ministers and representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru gathered in the City of Toronto on October 26, 2017 for the purpose of continuing their evaluation on the situation in Venezuela:

– Reiterated their rejection of the obstacles, acts of intimidation, manipulation, social coercion and voting conditioning, among other irregularities that characterized the regional elections held in Venezuela on October 15, and considered urgent the revision of the electoral system, including in in particular, the renewal of the National Electoral Council with members appointed by the National Assembly and the publication of a schedule of elections, which should be supervised by independent electoral observers.

–  Demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners in Venezuela and the cessation of arbitrary measures of disqualification of opposition political leaders, as well as restrictions on their free movement.

– Reaffirmed their decision not to recognize the acts emanating from the National Constituent Assembly and reiterate their full support for the democratically elected National Assembly.

– Deplored the fact that the Government of Venezuela does not allow access to international assistance to meet the basic needs of the population, particularly in the area of ​​health and food, when the international community is witnessing the worsening humanitarian crisis in that region. country. According to authoritative sources, child malnutrition stands at 11.4%, equivalent to a state of crisis according to world standards, primary school dropout has increased by 45%, and the basic food basket increased by 343% in the last year. In terms of health, 85% of those who require medicines are unable to get them and diseases that by 2014 were believed to be eradicated, such as malaria, have increased by 76%.

– Requested the Secretary-General and the United Nations system to contribute to addressing the crisis and continuing violations of human rights. They instruct the Chancellors of Canada and Peru to express this to the Secretary General.

– Expressed their concern at the exodus of thousands of Venezuelans, a situation that continues to worsen and represents a huge challenge for the countries of the region and especially for the neighboring countries.

– Declared that an agreement negotiated between the two parties, with international support and meeting the preconditions requested by the opposition, is the only peaceful way out of the current crisis. They reiterate their readiness to support any credible and bona fide negotiations.

-Urged the different opposition forces to maintain their unity, offering a common programmatic front, as an indispensable condition to achieve the solution of the Venezuelan crisis.

-Reaffirmed their commitment to be vigilant about the situation in Venezuela at the level of Foreign Ministers and to take the necessary measures, individually or collectively, to promote the restoration of the rule of law and democratic order in that country.

The Lima Group countries decided to meet again in Chile in January 2018.