The Lima Group on Wednesday showed its support for the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guiadó, who proclaimed himself president in charge of Venezuela, and supported holding elections "as soon as possible".
"They support the beginning of the democratic transition process in Venezuela within the frame of its Constitution in order to make new elections in the shortest time with the participation of all political actors", said a statement from this body, signed by Argentina, Brazil , Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, with the absence of Mexico.
Guaidó announced that he adjudicated himself the powers of the Executive within the frame of what he called the fight against the "usurpation" of the Presidency by Nicolás Maduro, who he considers "illegitimate".
Before this announcement, the Group of Lima, created before the impossibility of adopting resolutions on Venezuela in the Organization of American States (OAS) for the blockade of the Caribbean countries, condemned the acts of violence that occurred in the South American country and urged that " the Rule of Law, the fundamental rights of the people and social peace are guaranteed as long as the Government's transition takes place".
Likewise, the countries ratified their decision to continue supporting "firmly the recovery of democracy in Venezuela" and expressed "their full support" to Guaidó, in response to the constitutional norms and to the "illegitimacy of the regime" of Nicolás Maduro.
The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru express the following:
1. They recognize and express their full support to the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, who has assumed the position as President in charge of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in compliance with the constitutional norms and the illegitimacy of the regime of Nicolás Maduro.
2. They support the beginning of the process of democratic transition in Venezuela within the frame of its Constitution, in order to hold new elections, in the shortest time, with the participation of all political actors and with the international guarantees and standards necessary for a democratic process.
3. They condemn the acts of violence that occurred in Venezuela and urge that the rule of law, the fundamental rights of the people and social peace be guaranteed, while the government's transition takes place.
4. They confirm their decision to continue firmly supporting the recovery of democracy in Venezuela.
The Guaidó effect: The big surprise
The young deputy Juan Guaidó, current head of the unicameral Parliament of Venezuela, transformed on Wednesday his accidental leadership in the biggest challenge that Nicolás Maduro has faced since he rose to power in 2013, swearing before thousands of people that he assumes "formally" the powers of the Presidency of the country.
His self-proclamation, backed immediately by the United States and several governments of the region, is another episode of the long political crisis that Venezuela is going through, and the biggest act of unrecognition that Maduro has had to face.
Venezuela is experiencing a situation of political uncertainty since last January 10 Maduro took office again after elections held last May and not recognized by most of the international community.
The option for the President of the National Assembly to assume the Executive on an interim from until the call for elections is included in the Constitution of Venezuela, but only in the case that there is no legitimate ruler and a series of conditions must be accomplished.