Bolivian President Evo Morales has heavily criticized the Lima Group, saying that they are only loyal to governments that are “friends” with United States President Donald Trump. Using Peru's decision to revoke an invitation to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to attend the VIII Summit of the Americas, which is scheduled to take place in Lima, Peru next month, as an example Morales said the group was acting undemocratically.
“I condemn, I repudiate a group called the Lima Group... (which) doesn't want Maduro to participate in the Summit of the Americas. I don't support (this position). He is a democratically elected president,” said Morales during a press conference in La Paz on Tuesday.
Maduro's “anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist” stance has caused the United States and its junior partners to veto the Venezuelan head of state's presence at the international conference, Morales explained.
He noted, however, that signatures are being collected from presidents throughout Latin America in support of Maduro.
"I want to tell you that at least 13 or 15 governments of Latin America are asking the president of Peru to reconsider and invite Maduro. We have 12 or 13 confirmed, we're hoping for other signatures of other presidents. I don't understand this form of exclusion, of taking him out of the Summit (of the Americas). I don't understand these moves that some presidents make with not having Maduro come, I don't know if they don't have a good reading of politics. Our wish is for him to come," he added.
Peru withdrew its invitation to Maduro to participate in the international conference last month.
Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit criticized Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kusczinki for overstepping his boundaries and excluding Venezuela from the international meeting. "The president of Peru has no authority to suspend the invitation to a member country; he only has the status of a host country, but not authority," he told teleSUR English.
Ecuadorean Vice President, Maria Alejandra Vicuna, has said: "It's important that Venezuela be present to hear the different positions on its problems, and above all, the recommendations and the suggestions. We will never be in favor of intervention of any kind, much less military."
Uruguay’s interim Foreign Minister, Ariel Bergamino, said his government opposes the decision by the Lima Group to disinvite Venezuela. “The Lima Group doesn't have a juridical status nor an established institutionality. It has expressed itself, but we are not a part of it," he said.
He went on to highlight that “this environment of tension and exasperation has only one victim and that is the Venezuelan society. We must try to help Venezuelans reconcile and overcome their problems. Uruguay is always willing to help, to create areas to help resolve their problems peacefully, but always within the law.”
The Summit of the Americas is scheduled to take place on April 13 and 14 in the Peruvian capital of Lima.