Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Lima Group nations flay Venezuela election date

Lima Group nations flay Venezuela election date

Nevertheless, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza said the President will attend this meeting.

Ms. Aljovín was backed by foreign ministers of the Lima Group, a coalition of 14 mostly conservative governments in the region formed a year ago to push for what it considers the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.

The United States welcomes the firm statement from the Lima Group rejecting the unilateral decision by the Venezuelan regime to hold elections April 22.

On Tuesday, the Lima group of 14 Latin American countries plus Canada said the election would not be free and fair as long as Venezuela has political prisoners, the opposition was not fully participating and Venezuelans overseas were not allowed to vote. Peru's decision was made with the support of the Lima Group, which upheld the high democratic standard for Summit participation. We urge the National Electoral Council to set a new electoral calendar in compliance with the 1999 Constitution and in consultation with the National Assembly.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns the pronouncement of a group of countries of the hemisphere issued on February 13 in Lima, which constitutes an unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela", read the statement published on the Cuban newspaper Granma.

'I appreciate the offers of financial and other aid from the global community.

Colombia's migration authority says the number of Venezuelans living in Colombia has skyrocketed in recent months, with an increase of 62 percent to 550,000 in just the last six months of 2017.

As the number of Venezuelans crossing the border increases, including unattended children who get free vaccinations and education, Colombia estimates it would need $30mn to build an assistance centre 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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