On February 13, 2018 the Lima Group met in Peru for the 5th time. Once again, the Foreign Minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, played a leading role at the meeting in promoting the threats and interventionist rhetoric the meeting propagated against the government of Venezuela.
Outrageously, in addition to repeating unsubstantiated allegations of the violation of various “human rights” and “democratic” norms in Venezuela, the final declaration of this meeting also condemns the decision of the National Electoral Council in Venezuela to hold Presidential elections on April 22. This position is absolutely hypocritical, given the fact that Presidential elections are what the U.S. government and their imperialist allies, including Canada and Lima Group countries, have been demanding of Venezuela all along!
Formed in August, 2017 the Lima Group is made up of Canada and 13 other Latin American right-wing governments, who have aligned to promote foreign intervention in Venezuela with the goal of overthrowing the democratically elected government of President Maduro. The government of Canada is very comfortable within this den of pro-intervention governments, because there are completely in-line with their own foreign policy. Since the election of Hugo Chavez in 1999, the government of Canada has been working with the U.S. government and Venezuela’s violent counter-revolutionary opposition to destabilize Venezuela and reverse the gains of the Bolivarian revolutionary process.
Since September, the government of Canada has escalated their campaign of sanctions and threats, imposing cruel and unjustifiable sanctions that target 52 government officials in Venezuela, including President Nicolas Maduro. In December, Canada also stripped the diplomatic credentials from the Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada, Wilmer Barrientos Fernandez and Chargé d’Affaires at the Venezuelan Embassy in Canada, Angel Herrera. Among other meddling, the government of Canada has also continued to give political and financial support to Venezuela’s counter-revolutionary opposition, which has been given exclusive meetings with Prime Minister Trudeau and received funding through the Canadian Embassy in Caracas.
The statements and actions of the government of Canada and the Lima Group are in violation of the self-determination and sovereignty of Venezuela. The democratically elected government of President Maduro and the people of Venezuela have the right to call for and organize Presidential elections without the interference of foreign governments. The Bolivarian revolutionary process has a proven record of open and transparent elections, even receiving recognition from former US President Carter for having an election process that is "the best in the world.” The government of Canada has no right to declare the upcoming Presidential elections “illegitimate” – especially before they have even occurred!
The Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice Venezuela Solidarity Campaign condemns the government of Canada for their involvement in the Lima Group. We demand that the government of Canada immediately lift all sanctions against Venezuela, end their meddling in the internal affairs of Venezuela and cease their political and financial support for Venezuela’s so-called opposition.
As the governments of the U.S. and Canada ramp up their campaign of threats, sanctions and intervention in Venezuela, we poor, working and oppressed people in Canada and the U.S. must unite to organize in defense of the sovereignty and self-determination of the people of Venezuela.
February 18, 2018
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