The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Santa Lucia, faced at the beginning of 10 January 2019 of the illegitimate presidential period of the regime of Nicolas Maduro (2019-2025) in Venezuela, declare as follows:

1. They reiterate that the electoral process that took place in Venezuela on 20 May 2018 lacks legitimacy. This is because it did not take place with the participation of all Venezuelan political actors, nor in the presence of the independent international observers, nor with the guarantees and international standards necessary for a free, just and transparent process. As a result, they do not recognise the legitimacy of the new presidential mandate of the regime of Nicolas Maduro, which will begin on 10 January 2019.

2. They confirm that they fully support and acknowledge the National Assembly, legitimately elected on 6 December 2015, as the democratically elected constitutional organ in Venezuela.

3. They urge Nicolas Maduro not to assume the presidency on 10 January 2019 and to respect the powers of the National Assembly and provisionally transfer to it, executive power until new fresh democratic elections are held.

4. They emphasize the importance of respecting the integrity, autonomy and independence of the Supreme Court of Justice, legitimately established, in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution, so that the Rule of Law can take full effect in this country.

5. They re-declare their unambiguous and firm condemnation of the rupture of the constitutional order and Rule of Law in Venezuela, emphasizing that it is only through the full reestablishment, as quickly as possible, of democracy and respect for human rights, that it will be possible to attend to the causes of the political, economic and social and humanitarian crisis that this country is undergoing.

6. They demonstrate their conviction that the solution to the political crisis in Venezuela falls on the Venezuelan people. Therefore they repeat their unwavering determination to support political and diplomatic initiatives that lead to the reestablishment of the constitutional order, democracy and the Rule of Law in this country through fresh elections with democratic guarantees.

7. They express their determination to continue to promote initiatives in multilateral fora, in particular in the Organization of American States and the UN Council of Human Rights, to contribute to re-establishing the democratic order and to respecting human rights in Venezuela.

8. They appeal to all countries that are members of the OAS to reaffirm their support for the Charter of the OAS and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in order to contribute to the reestablishment of the democratic order in Venezuela.

9. They condemn any provocation or military deployment whatsoever that threatens peace and security in the region. They call upon the regime of Nicolas Maduro and the Armed Forces of Venezuela to desist from actions that violate the sovereign rights of their neighbours. In this respect, they demonstrate their deep concern in regard to interception that took place on 22 December 2018, of a ship for seismic research, by the Venezuelan navy within the Economic Exclusive Zone of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

10. They reiterate they are deeply concerned about the serious political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, that has generated an exodus en masse of migrants and the requests for refugee status coming from this country, product of the anti-democratic, oppressive and dictatorial acts and policies practiced by the regime of Nicolas Maduro, that which will only be able to be resolved through the full reestablishment of a democratic order and respect for human rights. Equally, they renew their commitment, wherever they are able, of continuing to provide help to migrants coming from Venezuela, as well as promoting and developing initiatives of regional coordination in response to this crisis. In this respect, they salute the inclusion for the first time of the crisis of the migrants and refugees coming from Venezuela in the UN Global Humanitarian Appeal for 2019, as well as the appointment of a joint representative of the OIM and ACNUR.

11. They express their concern for the impact on the economy and security of the countries of the region on account of the political crisis in Venezuela.

12. They encourage the Venezuelan regime to allow the immediate entry of humanitarian assistance for the Venezuelan people, in order to prevent the aggravation of a humanitarian and public health crisis in this country and its transnational effects.

13. They agree the following measures:

A. To reevaluate the status or level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, on the basis of re-establishing democracy and constitutional order in this country and the need to protect its nationals and interests.

B. As far as is permitted by their domestic legislations, they will prevent High Officials of the Venezuelan regime from entering the territory of the Lima Group countries; elaborate lists of natural and legal persons with which the financial and banking entities of its countries must not operate or must carry out an enhanced due diligence; prevent access to the financial system, and if necessary to freeze their funds and other assets and economic resources.

C. To evaluate, with a restrictive criteria, the granting of loans to the regime of Nicolas Maduro in international and regional financial organizations of which Venezuela is part.

D. To suspend military cooperation with the regime of Nicolas Maduro including the transfer of arms in light of articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on the Sale of Arms, and to evaluate, in the case of humanitarian assistance, the authorizations for Venezuelan military planes to fly over.

E. To intensify contacts with non-member countries of the Lima Group in order to keep them informed about the actions of the Group, the seriousness of the situation in Venezuela and the need to work together to re-establish democracy in this country.

F. In relation to the request filed by Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate into possible commissions of crimes harmful to humanity in Venezuela, to encourage other countries to support the ICC Prosecutor to make speedy progress in the such proceedings.

G. To urge the other members of the international community to adopt similar measures to those agreed by the Lima Group against the regime of Nicolas Maduro to re-establish democracy.

Anoosha Boralessa