Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra confirmed Tuesday that the VIII Summit of the Americas will take place in Lima between April 13 and 14, as was planned before the impeachment of his predecessor, but fell short of reaffirming his country’s controversial ban on Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro from attending the summit, saying the matter will be decided by Peru's Foreign Ministry.
After former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) resigned on March 22 in the midst of two separate corruption scandals, there was uncertainty around the realization the Summit of the Americas, especially that following PPK's resignation Peruvians took to the streets to demand new elections.
Vizcarra, who took office Friday said in a press conference that he had received calls by many leaders of the Organization of American States (OAS) confirming their commitment to attend the meeting, among them Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called Peru's new president to give “all his support.”
When asked about Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s attending the summit, Vizcarra said it was a delicate issue and said “the ministry of foreign relations is making the decision about that and we will support them.”
A spokesperson for the foreign ministry has already told multiple reporters that his agency maintains its position of not inviting Nicolas Maduro to the summit.
Venezuela's invitation to the summit was rescinded by PPK via Twitter on Feb. 13, citing a "rupture of the democratic order" in Venezuela. The decision drew criticism from the Venezuelan government and other countries, including Ecuador, Cuba, Bolivia, Uruguay, Nicaragua and Antigua and Barbuda, who see the move by Peru as part of U.S.-led aggression and intervention into Venezuelan internal affairs.
PPK’s announcement was made after a meeting by the so-called Lima Group, an ad-hoc alliance created in August 2017 in Lima to "monitor" Venezuela until the country “returns to democracy.” It includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has argued there is no impediment for Venezuela to attend the Summit, reiterating Maduro’s participation. "Neither Peru, nor any other state, reserves the right to decide the participation of another member state and founder," Arreaza had previously said in response to PPK's controversial move.