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Lima Group urges Venezuela to cancel elections

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

10:49 | Mexico City (Mexico), May. 15.

Lima Group members on Monday urged Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to suspend the general elections scheduled to be held this Sunday, amid a political and economic crisis.

The Lima Group —which comprises 14 nations— makes a final call to the Venezuelan government to suspend the general elections slated for May 20, Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Videgaray told reporters.

His statements were made following a meeting held in Mexico City to address the political and economic crisis affecting the Bolivarian country.

Furthermore, Videgaray remarked these elections were called "without the participation of all political actors in Venezuela, without independent international observers," and without the necessary guarantees to make the elections free, transparent, and democratic.

Established in August 2017 to discuss the Venezuelan crisis, Lima Group was created by Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.

As is known, these countries, along with Guyana and Saint Lucia —the bloc's most recent members— as well as the United States and the Bahamas signed a Declaration on the margins of the latest Summit of the Americas held last April in Peru.

In said document, the bloc's members stated that the Venezuelan Government must offer the "necessary guarantees" in pursuit of a democratic process. 

The Lima Group currently assesses diplomatic, economic, financial, and humanitarian measures, which could be implemented —individually or collectively— after May 20.

It must be noted Maduro —who was elected in 2013 after Hugo Chavez passed away— will seek re-election this Sunday.

These elections —deemed as illegitimate by the Lima Group, the United States, and the European Union— will be held despite the boycott led by a significant part of the opposition and amid a sharp recession, as well as a hyperinflation that has prompted thousands of Venezuelans to leave their homeland. 

(END) JAA/MVB

Published: 5/15/2018
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