In an interview with a local radio station on Friday, Uruguay’s interim Foreign Minister, Ariel Bergamino, said the government opposes the decision by the Lima Group to disinvite Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from April’s Summit of the Americas, organized by the Organization of American States (OAS).
The fourteen countries from the Americas, which form part of the Lima Group, announced on Feb. 13 that Maduro will not be welcomed at the upcoming Summit, citing the Venezuelan president's unwillingness to cancel the presidential elections scheduled for April 22.
The decision was announced shortly after United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson finished his Latin American tour, during which he expressed support for a military coup in Venezuela and announce a possible oil embargo.
Bergamino said stated Uruguay will not join that group, questioning its relevance. “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.”
Uruguay joins Bolivia and Cuba, who have rejected attempts to isolate Venezuela.
On Saturday Bolivian President Evo Morales reiterated his country’s solidarity with Venezuela and criticized the U.S.'s role in the attempt to exclude Venezuela for the Summit.
“We reject that a minority of countries directed by Trump’s interventionist obsession wants to turn the Summit of the Americas into a coup instrument against Venezuela. Attacking a president democratically elected is attacking the people who elected him,” Morales said via Twitter.
Uruguay’s Foreign Minister highlighted 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.”
Uruguay is the only Mercosur country that doesn’t adhere to the anti-Maduro bloc, but Bergamino explained “there is a tendency to think we are odd… but we are not. The policy this government carries out is based on the long-term policy guideline that have shaped this country’s foreign policy… The bombardment of declarations, exclusion, and threats are not helpful at all.”
During a press conference earlier this week Nicolas Maduro said "you don't want to see me in Lima? You're going to see me. Because come rain or shine, by air, land, or sea, I will attend the Summit of the Americas... If you want to talk about Venezuela, let's talk about Venezuela."