Latin American Governments Meet to Discuss Sanctions against Venezuelan Regime, UN Involvement

Grupo de Lima
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said that while Maduro insists that what happens in Venezuela is of no concern to other countries, “hunger, lack of resources to treat the sick, beatings … are of concern to everyone.”   (Twitter)

EspañolThough the Venezuelan government continues to deny it is facing the worst economic and political crisis in the country’s history, other nations in the region continue to work on addressing the problem. The Lima Group — 12 countries determined to fix the situation Nicolás Maduro won’t — met for a third time in Canada this week.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said that while Maduro insists that what happens in Venezuela is of no concern to other countries, “hunger, lack of resources to treat the sick, beatings, mass arrests and civilian torture, as well as the destruction of democratic institutions, are of concern to everyone.”

The member countries said that the situation has worsened in Venezuela of late, especially with the “electoral fraud” that occured during regional elections, which led to the Maduro regime obtaining the majority of governor positions nationwide. They also lamented the fragmentation of the political opposition.

“The Venezuelan government has chosen the path of dictatorship amid institutional corruption and rampant and illegitimate electoral tactics that have led to a sustained restriction of civil liberties,” Freeland said.

The Lima Group — made up of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru — met in Canada this week with the intention of creating “a situation that will allow for a quicker and more decisive solution to encouraging the Venezuelan government to negotiate in good faith,” Peruvian Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna said.

At the meeting, Canada also urged friendly nations to take decisive action against the Maduro regime, such as the sanctions that the government has imposed on 40 Venezuelans “who have worked against the security, integrity and stability of democratic institutions in Venezuela.”

Peru proposed involving the United Nations in order to strengthen the fight against the Venezuelan crisis, particularly General Secretary António Guterres. A combined international effort may be able to address not only the humanitarian crisis caused by widespread food and medicine shortages, but also the Maduro’s regime’s continuing attempts to overtake every government institution.

Though the Venezuelan Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition coalition is severely fragmenting at the moment, Chairman of Parliament’s Foreign Policy Commission announced that there is a commission in Canada ready to meet with the Lima Group.

Additionally, the Casla Institute in Prague — a platform for Latin American studies in the Czech Republic — called for more sanctions against the Venezuelan regime. “This crisis requires sanctions on Venezuelan government officials once and for all, as the United States and Canada have done,” Tamara Sujú, Executive Director of the organization, said.

Sujú also requested the support of the Lima Group in investigations into crimes against humanity. A panel of independent experts from the Organization of American States is planning to assess whether the Venezuelan regime should be tried before the International Criminal Court.

Sources: Voa Noticias, Diario Las Américas.

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