On Tuesday, August 8, thirteen foreign ministers from the Americas met in Lima, Peru, in order to discuss Venezuela’s social and political crisis. The result was a signed declaration in which the representatives declare that Nicolás Maduro’s constituent assembly is illegal and illegitimate, as are all decisions that result from it.
The meeting, which was summoned by the government of Peru, assembled the foreign ministers of: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras. Mexico, Panama. Paraguay and Peru. Uruguay was represented by its ambassador in Lima.
They all signed a document that condemned the rupture of Venezuela’s “democratic order.”
The group of nations also declared that they would not recognize Maduro’s National Constituent Assembly due to its illegitimate character. However, the governments do recognize and support Venezuela’s National Assembly or parliament, which was elected on December 6, 2015. According to the declaration, the National Assembly enjoys full democratic legitimacy.
The joint declaration also states that any legal act that, according to the Venezuelan constitution, requires the approval of the National Assembly will only be recognized if and when said assembly approves it.
The foreign ministers also confirmed their support for Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz, who was recently removed from her post by means of the fraudulent constituent assembly held on July 30. The group of nations also condemned the Maduro regime’s use of repression, political violence, persecution, and abuse of political prisoners.
They also approved a decision by MERCOSUR, a regional trading block, to suspend Venezuela for violating the institution’s democratic charter.
The group of foreign ministers stated that it will meet again in September to discuss Venezuela, Maduro’s authoritarian power grab, and the human rights violations which his regime commits regularly.
They added that another meeting concerning the Venezuelan crisis is possible within the framework of the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York, where wider support for Venezuelan democracy can be gathered potentially.
”What we have in Venezuela is a dictatorship,” was the statement given by Peru’s Foreign Relations minister, Ricardo Luna, at the end of several hours of talks in Lima between government ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean.
The meeting at the colonial foreign ministry in downtown Lima was attended by Canada’s assistant secretary for the Americas, as well as the Foreign Affairs ministers of Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Saint Lucia, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Guyana, Honduras and Jamaica, and by Uruguay’s ambassador to Peru.
A permanent group of foreign relations ministers has been set up to monitor the crisis, and is open to all countries that wish to participate and that share these points of view, Luna said, to seek Venezuela’s return to democracy. The group is scheduled to hold its first meeting in mid-September in New York, during the United Nations General Assembly.