Empowering Congress could help restore the country’s democracy

Ag√™ncia Brazil – Brazil‚Äôs Foreign Minister Ernesto Ara√ļjo said yesterday (Jan. 4) that the declaration released by the Lima Group‚ÄĒarguing that the power of Venezuela should be transferred from President Nicol√°s Maduro to the parliament‚ÄĒis an opportunity to restore democracy in the country. The message was posted on Ara√ļjo‚Äôs Twitter account shortly after he took off on a flight from Lima, capital of Peru, to Bras√≠lia.

The Lima Group, comprised of Brazil and 13 other countries urge Maduro to refrain from taking office on January 10, and instead to transfer his power to the National Assembly‚ÄĒthe parliament. ‚ÄúThe Declaration of Lima adopts the Brazilian proposal, urging Maduro to hand over his power to the National Assembly until democratic elections are held‚ÄĒa historic opportunity to restore Venezuela‚Äôs democracy,‚ÄĚ Ara√ļjo tweeted.

Gathered in Lima, the chancellors of 13 of the 14 countries making up the group approved the declaration proposing new elections in Venezuela, and do not recognize Maduro’s re-election. They also appose carrying out an intervention in the country.

In addition to Brazil, the document was signed by Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guiana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia.

Mexico, also a member of the Lima Group, was the only country that did not support the text. This is the first time the Mexican government refrains from backing a declaration from the bloc, created in 2017 to pressure Maduro‚Äôs regime into conducting democratic overhauls‚ÄĒthe sign of external political change after President Andr√©s Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in, in December last year.

The Lima Group assembly was the first activity overseas of Brazilian chancellor Ernesto Ara√ļjo in his post. The minister also attended a meeting at the Chilean embassy on the future of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and the crisis in Nicaragua.