Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia on Monday refused to recognize the legitimacy of Venezuelan elections as they fail to meet international standards of a democratic, free, fair, and transparent process.
These countries —members of the regional association known as the Lima Group— issued a joint statement after Sunday's elections
in Venezuela, in which President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected for a new term.
According to the statement, said governments have agreed to reduce the level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, for which they will recall their Ambassadors in Caracas for consultation and summon Venezuelan Ambassadors to express their protest.
Likewise, the group reiterated its deep concern over the political, economic, social, and humanitarian crisis that has deteriorated the life in Venezuela, which is reflected in the massive migration
of its citizens to the region.
In addition, the bloc announced it will table a new resolution on the situation in Venezuela at the 48th Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly.
In light of the migration surge, the Lima Group
countries decided to convene a high-level meeting with migratory and refugee authorities in Peru for the first half of June. In this regard, they accept the offer of Peru to host the gathering.
The aim of the meeting is to exchange experiences and define guidelines for a comprehensive response, including issues of softened immigration policies and identity documents.
They will also explore the possibility of making financial contributions to competent international organizations so as to enhance institutional capacities of countries in the region —mainly the neighboring nations— to address the migratory flow of Venezuelans.