Lima Group asks Venezuelan military to show loyalty to Guaido

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

20:12 | Ottawa (Canada), Feb. 4.

The Lima Group on Monday asked the Venezuelan armed forces to show "loyalty" to the head of the country's Parliament, Juan Guaido, who on Jan. 23 proclaimed himself interim president.

"We are issuing a call to the National Armed Forces of Venezuela to demonstrate their loyalty to the interim president. In addition, we urge them not to impede the entry and transport of humanitarian aid to Venezuelans," said the Lima Group in its joint declaration released at the end of an emergency meeting.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at the opening of the meeting the granting of 53 million Canadian dollars (about US$40 million) in humanitarian aid for the Venezuelan people.

Trudeau said that the aid will be destined to covering the basic necessities of the most severely affected people, including immigrants and refugees.

Of that figure, 18 million Canadian dollars will go to "governments" affected by immigration so that they can bear the burden of providing services to the growing population.

In its final declaration, the Lima Group reiterated its "recognition and support" for Guaido as Venezuela's interim president and called upon the international community to provide its strongest support to establish a democratic transition government in Venezuela.

The Lima Group also condemned the ongoing and serious violations of human rights in Venezuela and rejected acts of violence and repression against popular demonstrations by security forces.

Meanwhile, the alliance urged the international community to prevent the Maduro regime from engaging in financial and commercial transactions abroad, obtaining access to the country's international assets and doing business either in petroleum or in gold.

The group, however, did not discuss the possibility of military intervention in Venezuela, according to remarks by Britain's Minister for Europe and the Americas, Alan Duncan, who attended the session.

The Lima Group —which includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru, along with Mexico, who did not participate— met on Monday in Ottawa with the aim of increasing pressure on Maduro to step down from power.

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Published: 2/4/2019
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