The president of Panama attends the meeting of the Group of Lima

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  • Tue, 02/26/2019 - 07:39
The president of Panama attends the meeting of the Group of Lima
  • EFE

The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, traveled to Bogotá on Monday to attend the meeting of the Group of Lima that will address the crisis in Venezuela.

The presidency of Panama indicated in a statement that Varela will joined his Guatemalan colleague, Jimmy Morales, to the meeting, at the invitation of the Colombian leader, Iván Duque, "in support of the interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó".

Varela traveled accompanied by his vice president and chancellor, Isabel De Saint Maló de Alvarado, and his speech focused "on the next steps of the international community to strengthen support for a peaceful, democratic and Venezuelan solution to the current political, economic and humanitarian crisis that affects the brother country".

The foreign ministers of the Group of Lima met on Monday in Bogota to intensify the "diplomatic siege" to Nicolás Maduro in a meeting that also was attended by the US vice president, in addition to Guaidó.

The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, said in his speech to the Group of Lima that the "Maduro regime is weakening day by day". Pence spoke to Guaidó and said that Trump had sent him to give a message to him and the Venezuelan people: "We are with you", he said in Spanish. "As President Trump said, in his words, there is no point of return. And the events of the past few days have only strengthened our determination", he added.

The vice president of Brazil, Hamilton Mourão, among other Latin American leaders also attended the meeting in Bogotá.

Last Saturday, the attempt to bring humanitarian aid to Venezuela through the border crossings with Colombia and Brazil ended in violence.

The summit, which will take place at the Palacio de San Carlos, headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, was announced on February 14 during Duque's visit to US President Donald Trump.

The Group of Lima was created in the Peruvian capital in August 2017 with the purpose of finding solutions to the crisis in Venezuela and in the beginning it was composed of a block of 14 nations: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica , Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Guyana and Saint Lucia, plus the United States as an external collaborator.

However, at the last meeting, held on February 4 in Ottawa, no representative of Mexico participated, who has left the initiative since the arrival of the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 


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