Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday brushed off the declaration of the Lima Group on Venezuela as the member states strongly condemned the Venezuelan leadership and supported the country’s opposition as the interim government.
“The latest communique of the Lima Group is ridiculous. We do not know whether to laugh or vomit … I am absolutely convinced that we will win in this battle, in this historical period, we will win against the Lima cartel, I am convinced that we will win in diplomacy and politics,” Maduro said in his address.
Venezuelan President Maduro also said that at least 10 million people will sign a letter to the White House urging the United States to refrain from interfering in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.
“At least 10 million Venezuelans will sign it, we will send this document to the White House, insisting on respect [of rights],” Maduro said in his address to the nation.
The Lima Group and a number of other countries convened in Ottawa on Monday to discuss a range of solutions to the political crisis in Venezuela. The attendees issued a declaration following a meeting, which has slammed the Venezuelan government over the growing political crisis and called on the global community to suspend financial and trade ties with Caracas.
In January, the Lima Group, which has not recognized Maduro’s re-election last year, urged the Venezuelan president to call a new election and delegate his powers to the parliament until the vote is held. The group then agreed to impose sanctions on individuals and entities linked to the Venezuelan authorities.
On January 23, Juan Guaido, the speaker of the Venezuelan opposition-led National Assembly, proclaimed himself the country’s interim president. The opposition figure was supported by the United States and a number of other countries.
Russia and China, as well as several other countries, have refused to support Guaido, backing Maduro as the country’s legitimate president and demanding that other countries respect the principle of non-interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.