Members of the Lima Group (GL) and the International Contact Group (ICG) met June 3 in New York City to discuss solutions to Venezuela’s political crisis. Although they recognized that Venezuelans should take the lead, the regional impact of the crisis is forcing the international community to play a more active role. New meetings are being scheduled soon to coordinate strategies to address the conflict.
The IGC and Lima Group’s joint statement confirms that both organizations intend to continue working towards a peaceful transition by holding free and transparent elections. Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio added that “we will put in place a program to negotiate with those countries indirectly supporting Maduro [including Russia, China and Cuba], so as to include them in the solution.”
The Lima Group involves Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay in addition to eight EU countries: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. So far it has not made any pronouncements regarding Juan Guaidó’s claim to the presidency of Venezuela, although unlike the ICG, the Lima Group does recognize Guaidó as interim president. ICG members are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. (As of February 2019, a representative of Juan Guaidó also forms part of the Lima Group).