Argentina has withdrawn from the Lima Group of countries established in 2017 to push for regime change in Venezuela.
Buenos Aires withdrew symbolically on March 24 — the Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice, which commemorates victims of Argentina’s “dirty war” on the anniversary of the 1976 coup d’etat.
It condemned the group’s support for sanctions on Venezuela in the midst of a global pandemic and its treatment of the self-proclaimed Juan Guaido administration, a US-backed body with no territory, as Venezuela’s representative within it.
The group of American countries, including Canada, Brazil and Mexico, agreed the Lima Declaration in 2017, which sided with the then opposition-controlled National Assembly of Venezuela in its confrontation with the Nicolas Maduro presidency and the courts. Since 2019 it has treated Mr Guaido as Venezuela’s president and supported his failed attempts at violent insurrection.
The Foreign Ministry said Argentina — which was ruled by right-wing president Mauricio Macri in 2017, but has since elected the left-learning Alberto Fernandez — was formalising its withdrawal because of the group’s action “seeking to isolate the Venezuelan people and its representatives.
“The participation of a sector of the Venezuelan opposition as one more member of the Lima Group has led to the adoption of positions our government cannot support,” it said.
“In a context in which the pandemic has wreaked havoc in the region, the sanctions and blockades imposed on Venezuela and its authorities, as well as the destabilisation attempts that occurred in 2020, have only aggravated the situation of its population.”