Former presidents ask to maintain the position of the Lima group on Maduro

  • EFE - Archivo

Presidents-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and of Mexico, Manuel López Obrador receive from the Presidents of Spain and America, the request to maintain the positions adopted by the Lima Group on Venezuela.

In a statement, signed by 19 former heads of state and government grouped in the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA), they recall that Brazil and Mexico belong to the Lima Group, a forum of countries seeking a democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela and the return to democracy.

The former presidents "respectfully request (Bolsonaro and López Obrador) be consistent and maintain compliance with the commitments adopted within this (Lima Group) on Venezuela," reads IDEA’s text, broadcast on Tuesday in San Jose and signed by former president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize Oscar Arias.

IDEA points out that "the Venezuelan people, whom Maduro Moros no longer represents, have been victims of his regime, which have violated the most elementary universal standards of humanity."

The document in turn asks Bolsonaro and López Obrador "to avoid the presence of Nicolás Maduro (president of Venezuela) in his inauguration, condemned by the Venezuelan legitimate Justice and investigated by the International Criminal Justice".

From exile, the Supreme Court of Venezuela also raised its voice on this issue and wrote to the elected president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to ask him to rescind an eventual invitation for President Nicolás Maduro to his inauguration, because inviting him would be a "serious offense" for the Venezuelan people.

In a letter to which Efe had access, Miguel Ángel Martín, president of that court that calls himself "legitimate", told Lopez Obrador that he had been sent a copy of the recently published complete sentence of the trial in absentia this year against "Mr. Maduro" in Bogotá.

Last August, Maduro was sentenced in that trial to more than 18 years in prison for "corruption and money laundering" in a case involving Brazil’s  Odebrecht construction scandal.

Consequently, the letter says, "in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of our country, Mr. Maduro Moros has been formally dismissed from his position as President of the Republic."

Likewise, from Washington, last October, the US government insisted on the need to maintain, together with other countries in the region, a campaign of "sustained pressure" to force Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to "return to the democracy", releasing "political prisoners" and allowing the entry of humanitarian aid.

A spokesman for the State Department, Robert Palladino, made the remarks during a press conference when asked if Washington wants Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro to play a more active role in relations with the Caribbean country.

Without mentioning the new Brazilian president, Palladino said: "Many countries are active with us, and it is a clear majority and there are always more things we can do; we need to apply sustained pressure on the Maduro regime."

The spokesman explained that these actions "are necessary for a return to democracy" and alleviating the "suffering" of the Venezuelan people, who "desperately need access to humanitarian aid", a proposal that Caracas interprets as an attempt of aggression by Washington.

Palladino reiterated its request for the Maduro Government to restore the 1999 Constitution and "respect the human rights and authority" of the National Assembly (AN, Parliament), controlled by the opposition since 2016 and that Chavismo has tried to replace with the ruling National Constituent Assembly (ANC).

Source- EFE

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