Statement by Lima Group on power outage in Venezuela: March 10, 2019

(Unofficial translation from Spanish)

“The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, members of the Lima Group, stand in solidarity with the millions of Venezuelans affected by the continuing power outage, which has exceeded 50 hours. The lack of electricity has caused the death of 18 people in hospitals and clinics. The outage has also affected the daily lives of the Venezuelan people in innumerable ways, adding to the hardships that they have been suffering for years. This situation underscores the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis that the Maduro regime continues to refuse to recognize.

“We hold the illegitimate Maduro regime exclusively responsible for the collapse of the Venezuelan electrical system.

“We reiterate our support for Interim President Juan Guaidó and the National Assembly. Only a legitimate government established by free and democratic elections can carry out the reconstruction of the country’s institutions, infrastructure and economy. This work is required for Venezuelans to regain their dignity, their civil liberties and respect for their human rights following years of repression and denial.”

The declaration by the Lima Group was originally published by the Government of Canada. It is reproduced here for non-commercial purposes only.

Lima Group Declaration: January 4, 2019

In light of the beginning, on January 10, 2019, of the illegitimate presidential term of Nicolas Maduro and his regime in Venezuela (2019 to 2025), the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia express the following:

  1. We reiterate that the electoral process that took place in Venezuela on May 20, 2018, lacked legitimacy as it neither included the participation of all political actors in Venezuela, nor did it have the presence of independent international observers, nor did it comply with the necessary guarantees or international standards for a free, fair and transparent election. Accordingly, we do not recognize the legitimacy of the new presidential term of Nicolas Maduro, or his regime, which commences on January 10, 2019.
  2. We ratify our full support and recognition  of the National Assembly, which was legitimately elected on December 6, 2015, as a democratically elected constitutional institution in Venezuela.
  3. We urge Mr. Maduro to not assume the office of president on January 10, 2019, to respect the powers of the National Assembly and to provisionally transfer executive powers to the National Assembly until new democratic elections are held.
  4. We highlight the importance of respecting the integrity, autonomy and independence of the Supreme Court of Justice, which was legitimately formed according to the Venezuelan Constitution, for the full application of the rule of law in Venezuela.
  5. We reaffirm our firm and unequivocal condemnation of the rupture of the constitutional order and the rule of law in Venezuela, and highlight that only through the full restoration, as soon as possible, of democracy and respect for human rights in that country will the causes of the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis that is taking place in that country be addressed.
  6. We express our conviction that the solution to the political crisis in Venezuela must come from the Venezuelan people and, as such, reiterate our permanent determination to support political and diplomatic initiatives that are conducive to the reestablishment of the constitutional order, democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela through holding a new electoral process with democratic guarantees.
  7. We express our determination to continue fostering initiatives in multilateral forums, especially the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Human Rights Council, to help re-establish democratic order and the respect for human rights in Venezuela.
  8. We call on all member states of the OAS to reaffirm their support for the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter in order to contribute to the reestablishment of democracy in Venezuela. 
  9. We condemn any provocation or military deployment that threatens peace and security in the region and call upon the Maduro regime and the Venezuelan Armed Forces to refrain from any actions that violate the sovereign rights of neighboring countries. In this regard, we express our deep concern about the interception of a seismic research vessel in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana by the Venezuelan Navy on December 22, 2018.
  10. We reiterate our grave concern for the serious political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which has caused the massive exodus of migrants and asylum seekers from Venezuela. This has occurred as a result of the anti-democratic, oppressive and dictatorial actions and policies undertaken by the Maduro regime, which will only be resolved with the full restoration of democracy and respect for human rights. Similarly, we renew our commitment, within our capabilities, to continue to offer assistance to migrants from Venezuela and to promote and develop initiatives for regional coordination in response to this crisis. In this regard, we welcome that, for the first time, the Venezuelan migration and refugee crisis has been included in the UN Global Humanitarian Overview for 2019. We also welcome the appointment the Joint Special Representative  of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.
  11. We express our concern for the impacts on the economies and the security of countries in the region caused by the political crisis in Venezuela.
  12. We urge the Venezuelan regime to allow humanitarian aid for the people of Venezuela to enter its territory to prevent the worsening of the humanitarian and public health crisis currently taking place and its cross-border effects.
  13. We agree on the following measures:
    1. Reassess the status or the level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela with a view to the re-establishment of democracy and the constitutional order in Venezuela and the need to protect our own nationals and other interests.
    2. In accordance with respective national legislations, prevent high-level Venezuelan officials from entering the territory of Lima Group members and establish lists of natural and legal persons with whom financial and banking institutions of member countries should not conduct operations or should undertake special due diligence, preventing their access to the financial system, and, where applicable, freezing their funds and other assets or economic resources.
    3. Evaluate restricting the granting of loans to the Maduro regime at international and regional financial organizations of which Lima Group countries are members.
    4. Suspend military cooperation with the Maduro regime, including the transfer of armaments in light of articles 6 and 7 of the UN Arms Trade Treaty, and assess the granting of overflight permits for Venezuelan military aircraft in cases of humanitarian assistance.
    5. Intensify engagement with countries that are not part of the Lima Group to keep them informed of the measures adopted by the Lima Group, the seriousness of the situation in Venezuela and the need to work together for the reestablishment of democracy in that country.
    6. With regard to the request submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court by Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru for an investigation into the possible commission of crimes against humanity in Venezuela, we encourage other countries to support the submission, and urge the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to proceed expeditiously with the corresponding procedures.
    7. Urge other members of the international community to adopt similar measures to those agreed upon by the Lima Group against the Maduro regime in order to promote the re-establishment of democracy in Venezuela.

The declaration by the Lima Group was originally published by the Government of Canada. It is reproduced here for non-commercial purposes only.

Joint Statement of the Lima Group and the International Contact Group on the Situation in Venezuela: June 3, 2019

The foreign ministers of Canada, Chile and Peru—members of the Lima Group—together with the High Representative of the European Union and the foreign ministers of Portugal and Uruguay—members of the International Contact Group—met today at the United Nations in New York to discuss the situation in Venezuela.

The meeting followed both groups’ decision to increase contacts with a view to contribute to a political, peaceful and democratic solution to the Venezuelan crisis. They agreed that although the solution needs to be a Venezuelan one, the regional impact of the crisis requires the region and the international community to play a more active role in supporting a prompt return to democracy in Venezuela.

Both groups confirmed their commitment to a peaceful transition leading to free and fair elections in Venezuela. In this respect they expressed their support for all efforts underway toward this goal. They reiterated their backing for the democratically elected National Assembly and affirmed the need to fully restore and respect its powers, as well as to release all political prisoners.

They agreed to continue their close interaction, including on outreach to other relevant international actors. Both groups will also continue to work together in denouncing human rights violations in the country in the context of the Human Rights Council and other multilateral bodies.

The Lima Group and the International Contact Group concurred on the gravity of the humanitarian situation, including the migration crisis, and committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan population and affected neighbouring countries in line with internationally agreed principles. They expressed their support for the coordinated response by the United Nations and underlined the need to scale up international support and ensure that humanitarian actors are able to deliver their assistance without restrictions or political interference.

The communique by the Lima Group was originally published by the Government of Canada. It is reproduced here for non-commercial purposes only.

Lima Group Declaration on the Death of Venezuelan Captain: June 30, 2019

Informal translation:

“The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Guyana, St. Lucia, members of the Lima Group, condemn the murder of Venezuelan Corvette Captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo and express their sorrow and solidarity with his family.

“The captain had been captured by armed individuals on June 21 and was brought before a judge seven days later, on June 28, with visible signs of torture. The severity of his health conditions prompted the judge to transfer him to a health centre, where he died on June 29.

“The Lima Group rejects the Maduro regime’s arbitrary detention and torture of individuals the regime considers dissidents, and urges the international community, especially the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to take immediate action to restore the rights of Venezuelans and to protect their well-being.”

The declaration by the Lima Group was originally published by the Government of Canada. It is reproduced here for non-commercial purposes only.