The Lima Group met with U.S. Secretary of state to determine actions against Venezuela. The U.S. is not a member of the Lima Group.
The foreign affairs ministers of the countries that make up the Lima Group met Friday with the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to determine the next set of actions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, ahead of his inauguration on Jan. 10.
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“What we have said since the creation of this group of governments joined against Venezuela, to which the U.S., in theory, does not belong: they meet to receive orders from @realDonaldTrump through @SecPompeo. What a humiliating display of subordination,” Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza said of U.S. participation in the meeting.
Pompeo will join the meeting via video conference despite the fact thtat the U.S. is not a member of the Lima Group, created in August 2017 to find a "peaceful" solution to the Venezuelan poolitical crisis. Despite its stated goal, the group failed to promote last year's peace talks between the right-wing opposition and the government and it did not condemn the recent assassination attempt against President Maduro.
Lo que hemos afirmando desde la creación de este grupo de gobiernos cartelizados contra Venezuela, al que en teoría no pertenece el gobierno de EEUU: se reúnen para recibir ordenes de @realDonaldTrump por intermedio de @SecPompeo. ¡Vaya muestra de humillante subordinación! https://t.co/Mcw9MLjWkv— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) January 4, 2019
Members will “consider regional coordination initiatives to re-establish democracy and respect for human rights in Venezuela and to face the exodus of Venezuelan citizens,” the Peruvian foreign affairs minister said in an official statement issued Thursday.
This week Pompeo visited Colombian President Ivan Duque, a staunch detractor of President Maduro and a key player in the recent attacks against the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), the only regional integration body with no U.S. membership. During that meeting, Pompeo and Duque agreed to further attempts to “isolate” Venezuela. According to them, these measures are taken to promote democracy, but so far it has only affected the Venezuelan people by exacerbating political violence and economic crisis.
Brazil’s far-right government led by Jair Bolsonaro, which has recently expressed its willingness to host a U.S. military base, will participate in the group’s meetings for the first time.
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However, Lima Group-member Mexico, now led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has vowed to uphold a non-interventionist foreign policy. AMLO even refused to heed calls to not invite Nicolas Maduro to his swearing-in ceremony.
Peru has proposed to break all diplomatic ties with Venezuela while the Colombian government has asked “countries that defend democracy” to not recognize Maduro’s new administration.
In May, Maduro won the presidential elections with 67.7 percent of all votes, that is almost 6 million votes.
Main opposition candidate Henry Falcon got 21.1 percent of the vote. Othe right-wing opposition groups refused to participate in the elections. Instead of presenting a united candidacy against Maduro they called for a boycott and later claimed fraud.
Bolivian President Evo Morales also criticized Pompeo and the U.S. Friday. “When he was CIA boss, Mike Pompeo confessed a plan to overthrow the democratic government of brother @NicolasMaduro. Now, from the state department, he insists on his interventionist goals. If the #U.S. is worried about democracy in #Venezuela, it should cancel its coup plans.”
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru y St. Lucia make up the U.S.-aligned Lima Group.