Latin American bloc urges UN to get involved in Venezuela
Foreign ministers of 12 countries of the Americas urge UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to address the “crisis and continuing human rights violations” in Venezuela.
Foreign ministers of 12 countries of the Americas on Thursday called on the UN to help fight what they called human rights violations in Venezuela.
The countries of the so-called Lima group issued the appeal after a meeting in Toronto.
They urged UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres “to address this crisis and continuing human rights violations.”
They also said Venezuelan gubernatorial elections held on October 15, in which President Nicolas Maduro’s party won in 18 of 23 states, were marked by “acts of intimidation, manipulation, social coercion and voting conditioning, among other irregularities.”
A fierce power struggle has been raging for months between Maduro’s left-wing nationalist government and the centre-right opposition.
Almost 130 people have died in the unrest since the beginning of April, according to data from human rights activists, and more than 5,000 people have been arrested.
The Lima Group is composed of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.
Opposition governor dismissed
The newly elected opposition governor of Venezuela’s western Zulia state was dismissed on Thursday by the pro-government local state legislature, adding to disarray among foes of the ruling socialists.
The sacking of Juan Pablo Guanipa, one of five opposition governors in Venezuela’s 23 states, came after he refused to swear loyalty to an all-powerful national legislative superbody aligned with Maduro’s ruling socialists.
“They held a secret, express session to remove him,” Guanipa’s spokeswoman Erika Gutierrez said of the morning meeting of Zulia’s state legislature.