Lima Group meets in Colombia to discuss latest developments in Venezuela crisis

Lima Group meets in Colombia to discuss latest developments in Venezuela crisis

Top officials, including some South American leaders, from the Lima Group will meet in Bogota today to discuss the ongoing crisis

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Photo: Reuters

Top officials, including some South American leaders, from the Lima Group will meet in Bogota today to discuss the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. The US—a non-member—will be represented by Vice President Mike Pence.

The Lima Group and US have ramped up calls for President Nicolas Maduro’s ouster this month, publicly supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido, who will also attend today’s meeting, as the legitimate interim president.

The latest row between Mr Maduro and the international community is over humanitarian aid. Despite protests drawing hundreds of thousands, international aid worth over 10 million dollars has been stuck in neighbouring Colombia and Brazil. On Saturday, the US again tried to deliver some 200,000 kilograms of supplies at the behest of Mr Guaido, causing a widespread clash between Venezuela’s military and protesters—four demonstrators were killed and hundreds were injured.

Expect the Lima Group to collaborate with the US in drafting another condemnation of Mr Maduro today, but stronger action may be considered. Mr Guaido has called for international intervention, a request at which most leaders will balk. However, harsher sanctions are possible, especially as the US is “considering further action”.

Regardless, internal opposition to the Maduro regime is building. Indeed, the recent defection of some Venezuelan soldiers at the border indicates that Mr Maduro’s source of legitimacy—the support of the military—is not so steady.

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