Declaration of the Lima Group supporting the process of a democratic transition and the reconstruction of Venezuela


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February 26, 2019

Official Presidential Page

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 democratic transition process and the institutional, economic and social reconstruction of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela:

1. Condemn the deliberate actions of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro that, without taking into account the suffering of the population or the insistent demands of the international community, have impeded, on February 23, the entry of basic necessities and international assistance, through acts of violent repression that caused multiple injuries and deaths on the Colombian and Brazilian border, all of which has aggravated the risk to the lives, dignity and integrity of Venezuelans.

2. Express their solidarity with the Venezuelan people and recognize their valor and courage in their struggle to restore democracy, and reiterate the commitment of the Lima Group to continue to actively support it in this effort.

3. Condemn the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro before the international community for intentionally subjecting Venezuelans and, in particular, the most vulnerable population, to a systematic deprivation of food and medicines, and access to basic services, in order to perpetuate themselves in power.

4. Express their gratitude for the humanitarian assistance placed at Venezuela’s disposal, and condemn the indiscriminate violence used by the security forces and armed groups at the service of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro to obstruct its distribution and to impede the full exercise of the

rights and freedoms of Venezuelans. Consequently, they will collaborate to bring those responsible for such acts to justice .

5. 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, that constitute a crime against humanity, in the proceedings it is conducting 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.

6. Decide to promote the designation by the United Nations Human Rights Council of an independent expert or an investigation commission on the situation in Venezuela, in response to the deep concern over "serious human rights violations in a context of a political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis" in that country, as stated in Resolution A/HRC/RES/39/1 "Promotion and protection of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" of 26 September 2018. And they 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 41th session of the Human Rights Council.

7. Declare the irreversible character of their commitment to the democratic transition and the institutional, economic and social reconstruction in Venezuela, stressing that the permanence of Nicolás Maduro and his illegitimate regime in power represents an unprecedented threat to security, peace, freedom and prosperity throughout the region, wherefore they are promoting a 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, these governments will advance direct negotiations with the Secretary-General of the United Nations so that, in accordance with their capabilities, promotes the activation of the United Nations System in relation to what is happening in Venezuela.

8. 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 call on those States and the international community as a whole to join the Lima Group in its commitment to democratic transition and the immediate provision of humanitarian assistance by adhering to the Ottawa Declaration for Venezuela.

In this regard, they decide to intensify the efforts of the Lima Group at an international level by 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.

9. Resolve to maintain permanent coordination with the representatives of the government of Interim President, Juan Guaidó, both in their bilateral relations as well as in the international organizations to which they belong and the multilateral fora in which they participate, with a view to the return of democracy, economic reconstruction and immediate attention to the humanitarian crisis. Therefore, they will promote their recognition as legitimate representatives of Venezuela in international organizations and multilateral coordination mechanisms.

10. Decide to proceed with the recognition of the representatives of the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, in accordance with their internal procedures.

11. Reiterate their call to all members of the National Armed Force to recognize the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, as their Commander in Chief, and exhort them to, in remaining faithful to their constitutional mandate of being at the exclusive service of the Nation and not of a person, 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.

12. Exhort the members of the Judicial Branch and the Venezuelan Justice System, including those who have been irregularly designated as such, to recognize the legitimate authority of the National Assembly and of the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, and to respect the full exercise of their constitutional powers, in order to facilitate the democratic transition and the reestablishment of the rule of law in Venezuela.

13. Call on those nations that still maintain cooperation ties with the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro to facilitate the search for solutions that pave the way to the process of democratic transition and the convening of free, fair, transparent and credible elections.

14. Offer their firm support to the Agreement for the Promotion of the Rescue Plan for the Country, adopted by the National Assembly on January 29. In this regard, they express their willingness to convene an international conference, and will request the Inter-American Development Bank to lead in lending assistance to the legitimate Venezuelan authorities in the implementation of the institutional and economic reforms they deem necessary to reactivate the economy and offer opportunities for social progress for all Venezuelans.

15. Reaffirm the right of all Venezuelans to live in democracy and freedom, and therefore reiterate their support for holding of free and fair elections, open to the participation of all political forces, with international accompaniment and observers, organized by a neutral and legitimately constituted electoral authority. In order for these new democratic elections to be held, they demand the immediate exit of Nicolas Maduro and the cessation of the usurpation, respecting the constitutional authority of the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó.

16. Reiterate their belief 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.

17. Agree to reaffirm and follow up on measures previously adopted by the Lima Group; offer their full support to the design and implementation of the electoral calendar to be established by the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó; and to stress to the international community the urgency of allowing the entry of humanitarian assistance for the Venezuelan people.

18. 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