Diplomatic campaign against Venezuela hardening

The official sworn in ceremony by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on 10 January has been used as a pretext to spark a new phase of the already heavy international campaign against the legal government.

On 4 January, 13 governments of the so called ‘Lima Group’ have issued a statement, quite unusual in the diplomacy context for it held a very open interventionist character, violating Venezuela national sovereignty.

The text affirmed to “not recognise the presidential legitimacy of the regime of Nicolas Maduro”, while urging him to not swear in and to delegate to the National Assembly (the parliament, with opposition majority) thus questioning the separation of constitutional powers and underestimating the other constituted powers, i.e. the Supreme Court as well as the country’s highest Election Authority.

The declaration also exposed the recent “military display” of the Venezuelan sea force, in a sea region that, according to the document, is “exclusive economic zone” of the neighbouring Guayana Republic. The signatories thus reclaimed for themselves the role of international jueces of the border dispute between the two countries (Venezuela and Guayana) some 100 years old. A dispute, it must be said, that never has provoked armed confrontation and is object of talks between the two nations.

The open position of the Lima Group in favour of the extremist factions of the Venezuelan opposition, divided and with coup aspirations, appears to be really a war attitude and does nothing but incentive the attempts to violate the constitutional sovereignty of Venezuela. Furthermore, it is preparing, somehow the road to possible military interventions.

The declaration also urged the signatories and all countries to “reconsider the state or level of their diplomatic relations” with Venezuela. It also recommends the implementation of sanctions against officials or leaders of the Venezuelan government as well as an end to possible financial aid from economic international and national institutions.

The position of this group of countries led to the decision by as much as 10 countries of the 13 that signed the declaration, to feel the obligation to rectify and clarify aspects of its content.

Mexico on the other hand, has not only refused to support the declaration but also abandoned, as announced by his president, Manuel Lopez Obrador, the group itself. Obrador also reaffirmed his country’s respect of the sovereignty of all nations.

Meanwhile the Presidential ceremony in Caracas, was attended by the leaders of Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador as well as several international diplomatic delegations.

The external campaign against the Venezuelan government has meant also that some 45 states member of the UN, out of 195, announced the “no recognition” of President Maduro, despite his winning the elections with 67% of the votes (participation was low, 47% of those having right to vote). The candidates of the opposition, however, only got around 35% of the votes and the elections took place under totally safe and free conditions.

The list of countries that will not recognise the new Government, apart from the 13 signatories of the Lima Group’s declaration, are of course the US and its closest allies, as well as Japan, and Germany and Great Britain in Europe.

The answer of the Foreign Affair ministry of Venezuela to the Lima Group’s declaration has been a strong one. In a press release, the ministry said: “This text has written a shameful page in the history of international relations in the region”.

The statement added: “Venezuela will respond, in reciprocity, to this text with the corresponding proportion.”

Next April, Venezuela will cease its participation to the OEA (Organisation of American States) having required to step down, after the numerous aggressive stances taken by its Secretary General, the Uruguayan Carlos Almagro and by the US and Canada.