The Lima Group says it has no intention of recognizing the new Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela and called on the South American country to desist from violating the sovereign rights of its neighbours.
In a joint statement issued on January 4, days before Maduro was sworn in for a new term, the group said that the electoral process carried out in Venezuela on May 20, 2018 lacks legitimacy due to the lack of participation of all Venezuelan political actors, presence of independent international observers, and the guarantees and standards necessary for a free, fair and transparent process. Consequently, the group said it “does not recognize the legitimacy of the new presidential term of the Nicolás Maduro regime,” which began on January 10, 2019.
Turning its attention to the December 22 interception by the Venezuelan navy of vessels contracted by US oil major, ExxonMobil, to carry out seismic work in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Group said it condemns any provocation or military deployment that threatens peace and security in the region.
The Group “calls on the regime of Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan Armed Forces to desist from actions that violate the sovereign rights of their neighbors.”
In that sense, they express their deep concern over the interception carried out within the exclusive economic zone of Guyana.
The joint statement was issued by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia.
The Lima Group is supported by Barbados, the United States, Grenada, Jamaica and Uruguay, who attended the initial meeting, as well as organizations such as the Organization of American States and the European Union.