- EFE - Archivo
The Government of Panama reiterated today that it does not recognize the new presidential term of Nicolás Maduro for being "illegitimate", and said that it is evaluating "all" the diplomatic measures against Venezuela.
"All the options are on the table, I believe that these issues are sensitive issues and that it is important not to rush (...) We will remain vigilant of the evolution of the situation", said Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo.
The head of Panamanian diplomacy said in a press conference that the investiture of Maduro on Thursday is "a turning point" in relations between the two countries and that Panama values "minute by minute" the situation.
"There may be new decisions that the Republic of Panama will take, but at this moment those that we have published are those that we have taken and I would not like to speculate on other possible ones because it does not correspond", she added.
Maduro swore on Thursday his second term in office, which will keep him in power until 2025, amid accusations of illegitimacy for the way he won re-election in the elections last May, which he won with a wide margin and to which not be presented the bulk of the opposition for considering them fraudulent.
De Saint Malo recalled that the countries that make up the Group of Lima, with the exception of Mexico, agreed last Friday not to recognize Maduro as Venezuelan president from January 10, but clarified that each country is "sovereign" to take the measures that it considers appropriate according to its national interests.
The Group of Lima is integrated by Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia.
Paraguay announced the rupture of diplomatic relations with Venezuela and the closure of its embassy in that country, while another member of the group, Peru, called its business aggregate in Caracas for consultations and banned Maduro and a hundred other members of his government from entering the country.
"Panama retired its ambassador last year, many months ago, and since then we have had a business aggregate, if that is going to stay that way or that is going to change is something that we are evaluating", said the Panamanian chancellor at the press meeting.
Panama and Venezuela experienced a diplomatic crisis from April to May last 2018, which resulted in the suspension of air traffic between the two countries and that was triggered when Panama asked its banks to intensify financial supervision over 55 politically exposed Venezuelans, including Maduro himself.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the Organization of American States (OAS) agreed on Thursday "not to recognize the legitimacy of the period of Nicolás Maduro's regime as of January 10, 2019", and called for new elections to be held "on a date close" with international observation.
For its part, USA announced that will not recognize the inauguration and will increase the pressure on the Venezuelan Executive and the European Union regretted that Maduro "undertakes today a new mandate based on undemocratic elections".