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News > Latin America

Bolivian Legislator: Peru 'Risks Prestige' Over Venezuela Ban

  • The MAS legislator upheld Venezuela's right to participate in the Summit of the Americas.

    The MAS legislator upheld Venezuela's right to participate in the Summit of the Americas. | Photo: Camara de Diputados

Published 20 February 2018

Peru announced the decision by its president to disinvite  Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from the April Summit of the Americas in Lima.

Bolivia's President of the Foreign Policy Legislative Commission, Valeria Silva, has said in an interview that the decision by the Peruvian government to disinvite Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro from the April 13-14 Summit of the Americas calls into question the “prestige” of Peru’s diplomacy.

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In an interview with Sputnik Tuesday, the Bolivian legislator of the Move Towards Socialism (MAS) party, said “Peru must safeguard its diplomatic prestige and show the world it is capable of organizing events of supranational organisms, like the VIII Summit of the Americas.”

The decision by Peru’s government was announced last week after a meeting by the Lima Group, an ad-hoc alliance created in August 2017 in Lima to "monitor" Venezuela until the country “returns to democracy.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza sent a formal response Monday arguing there is no impediment for Venezuela to attend the Summit, reiterating Maduro’s participation. Arreaza explained to his Peruvian counterpart that “neither Peru, nor any other state, reserves the right to decide the participation of another member state and founder.”

Arreaza's opinion is shared by the Bolivian legislator, who has argued that the Peruvian government and the Lima Group cannot decide who will participate in the Organization of American States, OAS, meeting.

Silva told Sputnik “the Summit doesn’t depend at all on the Lima Group, and those who celebrate this decision do not realize it is not a decision by the Summit’s institutionality.”   

The irregular ban on Venezuela has been criticized by Bolivia, Uruguay, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The latter mediated and hosted a series of talks between the Venezuelan opposition and the government to secure an agreement on democratic coexistence.

The final agreement sent to both parties, which included provisions to seek and end to economic and financial sanctions and measures to ensure electoral transparency in the April 22 presidential elections, was signed by the Venezuelan government but rejected by the opposition.

The decision by Venezuela’s opposition to back out of the agreement coincided with a Latin American tour held by the United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who called for an oil embargo on Venezuela and hinted at a military coup.

The U.S. has welcomed the anti-Venezuela decision announced by Lima and endorsed by Lima Group members: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia.

However, the Venezuelan and Bolivian governments have questioned the democratic credentials of many of the group’s members. They cited the Peruvian president’s controversial decision to pardon former president Alberto Fujimori, who was serving a 25 year sentence for crimes against humanity, and Brazil’s “illegitimate” President Michel Temer, who replaced democratically-elected President Dilma Rousseff after what many analysts call a “parliamentary coup.”

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