The Lima Group of largely Latin American nations on Monday urged the Venezuelan government to suspend the presidential election scheduled for May 20, calling the process “illegitimate and lacking in credibility.” In a joint statement, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Lucia, Spain and the United States condemned Venezuela’s government and vowed to consider steps if the vote went ahead. The countries, not all of which belong formally to the group established last year in Lima to address the crisis in Venezuela, said they had analysed possible scenarios and identified a series of “actions” they could take. They did not provide details on what those might be.
Venezuela’s main opposition coalition is boycotting the election, saying it is a farce intended to legitimize a “dictatorship” led by President Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro’s main opposition rivals are barred from standing, and most Venezuelans regard the election board as answerable to Maduro.
Foreign and finance ministers from most of the countries in the Lima Group met in Mexico City and said they would consider steps to be taken either individually or collectively at a diplomatic, economic, financial or humanitarian level.