Lima Group nations flay Venezuela election date

Lima Group nations flay Venezuela election date

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski says his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, is "not welcome" at this year's Summit of the Americas in Lima, amid growing worldwide outcry over the decision to hold snap presidential elections amid a deepening economic and social crisis.

Last week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced stricter border controls between the two countries and blamed socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro for Venezuela's current predicament.

According to the senior official, the Peruvian Government's decision was backed by foreign affairs ministers and representatives of the Group.

The Lima Group statement said the group respected Peru's decision.

The United States has said it will reject the Venezuelan election, the timing of which also drew condemnation from several of Venezuela's neighbors as well as nations in Europe. While Maduro's opponents had been petitioning for a date that would provide ample time to elect new electoral authorities and invite global observers, the ruling socialists did exactly the opposite and accelerated elections under current conditions.

Venezuela abruptly set elections last week following a breakdown in official talks with opposition leaders to diffuse the country's bitter political fight, which led to bloody street protests a year ago.


A number of countries including the US and Colombia have already stated they will not recognize the results of April's presidential election.

"I appreciate the offers of financial and other aid from the global community". We need them because unfortunately this problem gets worse day by day, Santos said at an event in Bogota.

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos appealed Tuesday for more global assistance to cope with hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to escape Venezuela's imploding economy.

Colombia's migration authority has said that the number of Venezuelans living in Colombia increased 62% to more than 550,000 in the second half of 2017.

The declaration refers to a meeting in the Peruvian capital of the so-called Group of Lima, formed also by Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and St. Lucia, designed as an external front of the Venezuelan opposition.

Reuters reports: "As the number of Venezuelans crossing the border increases, including unattended children who get free vaccinations and education, Colombia estimates it would need $30 million to build an assistance center to give the migrants a temporary place to stay before deciding their next move". That, combined with hyperinflation in the oil-rich country, has led to the mass exodus.

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