Lima Group Declaration February 25, 2019
In support of the process of democratic transition and the reconstruction of Venezuela
The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, members of the Lima Group, committed to contribute to the process of democratic transition and to the institutional, economic and social reconstruction of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela:
- Condemn the deliberate actions of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro that, without considering the suffering of the population or the insistent calls of the international community, have prevented, on February 23, the entry of basic necessities and international assistance through acts of violent repression that caused multiple injuries and deaths on the border with Colombia and Brazil, all of which have aggravated the ongoing risk to the lives, dignity and well-being of Venezuelans.
- Express their solidarity with the Venezuelan people and recognize their bravery and courage in their struggle to recover democracy, and reiterate the commitment of the Lima Group to continue their active support to this effort.
- Denounce before the international community the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro for intentionally subjecting Venezuelans, and in particular the most vulnerable segments of the population, to a systematic deprivation of food and medicine, and access to basic services, to ensure it remains in power.
- Express their appreciation for the humanitarian assistance made available to Venezuela, and condemn the indiscriminate violence used by the security forces and armed groups in the service of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro to obstruct its distribution and to prevent Venezuelans’ full exercise of their rights and freedoms. As a result, they will cooperate to bring those responsible for these acts to justice.
- Decide to request the International Criminal Court to take into consideration the serious humanitarian situation in Venezuela, the criminal violence of the Nicolás Maduro regime against the civilian population, and the denial of access to international assistance, which constitutes a crime against humanity, in the course of the procedures it is pursuing by virtue of the request submitted by Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru on September 27, 2018, and subsequently endorsed by Costa Rica and France, and welcomed by Germany.
- Decide to promote the designation by the United Nations Human Rights Council of an independent expert or a commission of inquiry on the situation in Venezuela, in response to the deep concern with “the serious violations of human rights in the context of a political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis” in that country, expressed in Resolution A/HRC/RES/39/1, “Promotion and protection of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” of September 26, 2018; and reiterate their call to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to respond promptly to the situation in that country, prior to the presentation of her comprehensive report at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council.
- Express the irreversible nature of their commitment to the democratic transition and the institutional, economic and social reconstruction in Venezuela, emphasizing that the continuance of Nicolás Maduro and his illegitimate regime in power represents an unprecedented threat to security, peace, freedom and prosperity throughout the region, which is why they are promoting discussion of the current situation in that country in the United Nations Security Council, and will continue to address it in the Organization of American States. Likewise, they will advance direct representations with the United Nations Secretary-General so that, in accordance with his competency, he can promote the activation of the United Nations System in relation to what is happening in Venezuela.
- Express their satisfaction at the growing number of states that have recognized the constitutional authority of the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, and invite those states and the international community as a whole to join the commitment of the Lima Group with the democratic transition and with the immediate provision of humanitarian assistance, adhering to the Ottawa Declaration for Venezuela. In this sense, they have decided to intensify the efforts of the Lima Group at the international level, establishing all the necessary contacts and coordination, including special missions, to publicize the efforts and actions that the Group has undertaken to help restore democracy and constitutional order in Venezuela.
- Resolve to maintain permanent coordination with the representatives of the government of the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, both in their bilateral relations and in international organizations to which they belong and in the multilateral forums in which they participate, with a view to the return of democracy, economic reconstruction, and immediate attention to the humanitarian crisis. As such, they will promote the recognition of these representatives in international organizations and in multilateral coordination mechanisms, as legitimate representatives of Venezuela.
- Decide to advance the recognition of the representatives of the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, in accordance with their internal procedures.
- Reiterate their call to all members of the National Armed Forces to recognize the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, as their Commander in Chief, and exhort them, faithful to their constitutional mandate, to be at the exclusive service of the nation and not of a person, to cease to serve as instruments of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro for the oppression of the Venezuelan people and the systematic violation of their human rights.
- Urge members of the Venezuelan judiciary and justice system, including those who have been irregularly designated as such, to recognize the legitimate authority of the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, and to respect the full exercise of their constitutional competencies, in order to facilitate democratic transition and the restoration of the rule of law in Venezuela.
- They appeal to the nations that still maintain links of cooperation with the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro to help facilitate the search for solutions that open the way for the democratic transition process and the calling of free, fair, transparent and credible elections.
- They offer their strong support to the Agreement for the promotion of the country rescue plan, adopted by the National Assembly on January 29. In this regard, they express their willingness to convene an international conference, and request the Inter-American Development Bank to lead the accompaniment of the legitimate authorities of Venezuela in the implementation of the institutional and economic reforms they deem necessary to reactivate the economy and offer opportunities of social progress for all Venezuelans.
- Reaffirm the right of all Venezuelans to live in democracy and freedom, and therefore reiterate their support for the holding of free and fair elections, open to the participation of all political forces, with international accompaniment and observation, organized by a neutral and legitimately constituted electoral authority. For these new democratic elections to be held, they demand the immediate departure of Nicolás Maduro and the cessation of the usurpation, respecting the constitutional authority of the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó.
- They reiterate their conviction that the transition to democracy must be conducted by Venezuelans themselves, peacefully and within the framework of the Constitution and international law, supported by political and diplomatic means, without the use of force.
- Agree to reaffirm and follow up on the measures previously adopted by the Lima Group; to offer all their support to the design and execution of the electoral calendar established by the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó; and to urge the international community on the urgent need to allow the entry of humanitarian assistance for the Venezuelan people.
- They welcome the offer of the Government of the Republic of Chile to host the next meeting of the Lima Group on a date to be determined.
Bogotá, February 25, 2019
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