Current Venezuela’s crisis has become a major concern for most Latin American countries, due to the serious socio-economic deterioration of its population and the regime’s crackdown against democracy and human rights. Except for Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, ideological allies of the Government of Venezuela, the rest of countries in the region seem to have reached a unanimous agreement with regard to this South American country.
In this regard, Foreign Ministers and representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Perú, and Saint Lucia, facing the decision adopted by the National Electoral Council of Venezuela (CNE) to convene unilaterally to presidential elections for April 22th, 2018, without having reached an agreement with the opposition, as the Government had committed, and, in accordance with its Declaration of January 23rd, last, they express the following:
- Their strongest rejection of this decision, which makes democratic, transparent, and credible presidential elections impossible, with the participation of all Venezuelan political actors, with observation and international standards, and reiterates that elections that do not meet these conditions will lack all legitimacy and credibility.
- Urge the Government of Venezuela to reconsider the convocation of the presidential elections in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph and, in accordance with its own regulations, present a new electoral calendar.
- They emphasize that they cannot make free and fair elections with political prisoners, without the full participation of political parties and leaders arbitrarily detained or disqualified, with an electoral authority under the control of the Government, without the participation of millions of Venezuelans in the foreigners unable to vote, originally convened by the constituent assembly organ lacking legitimacy and legality, whose existence and decisions we do not recognize.
- Take note of the report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on “the Democratic Institutionality, the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Venezuela”, which documents the serious deterioration in the validity of human rights and the serious political, economic and social crisis that Venezuela is going through.
- They take note of the decision communicated by the Attorney General of the International Criminal Court to conduct a preliminary examination of the situation in Venezuela regarding crimes against humanity that occurred during the 2017 protests.
- In the face of the continuing and serious deterioration of democratic institutions in Venezuela, and based on the Declaration of Quebec, adopted at the 3rd Summit of the Americas, in 2001, the letter says “any alteration or unconstitutional rupture of the democratic order of a State of the Hemisphere constitutes an insurmountable obstacle for the participation of the Government of that State in the Summits of the Americas process, “the Government of Perú has decided to reconsider the participation of the Government of Venezuela in the 8th Summit of the Americas, in Lima. The members of the Lima Group respect this decision.
- Reiterate their concern at the growing deterioration of the humanitarian situation and call upon the Government of Venezuela to allow without delay the opening of a humanitarian corridor that will help mitigate the serious effects of the shortage of food and medicines.
- Faced with the increase in the exodus of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing the serious crisis in that country, they agree to coordinate efforts to face this difficult situation in an orderly, supportive, and safe manner.
- Their recognition of the work and efforts of Chile and Mexico, in their participation, to reach an agreement between the Parties, in the negotiation promoted by the Dominican Republic.
Lima, February 13th, 2018