Please send a letter to the Hon. Justin Trudeau and Hon. Chrystia Freeland letting them know Canada should not be leading efforts in the Lima Group
Re: My opposition to Canada’s role in the Lima Group
Feb 3, 2019
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON. K1A 0A2
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON. K1A 0G2
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Freeland,
I am writing to express my concern with Canada’s role in the current crisis in Venezuela, and its leadership within the Lima Group which met in Ottawa on February 4th.
I believe Canada’s role should be supporting dialogue and peace in Venezuela, not undemocratic regime change. Canada is a member state of the Organization of American States (OAS) and must abide by the principle of sovereignty and non-intervention as enshrined in Article 19 of the OAS Charter:
No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.
Canada has taken a leadership role within the Lima Group, which was formed within the Organization of American States (OAS) only after OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and a small number of members failed to achieve their interventionist agenda within that body. In 2016, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro sought unsuccessfully to persuade a majority of the 34 OAS member states to vote to invoke the InterAmerican Democratic Charter to condemn, and then suspend, Venezuela from the OAS for what it considered anti-democratic actions by the Maduro administration. Undeterred by this failure, and with the encouragement of the US, Almagro initiated the Lima Group, comprised of mostly of right -wing governments, including repressive and anti-democratic regional allies in Brazil, Honduras and Guatemala.
Despite numerous declarations couched in terms of “peace and democracy”, the Lima Group has consistently opposed compromise and dialogue and has pressed for regime change in Venezuela. This ‘regime change’ objective of the Lima Group violates Art 2 (4) of the UN Charter:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Mr. Jazairy, who is the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, insists that such “coercion” by outside powers “is in violation of all norms of international law”. The UN expert called on the international community to engage in constructive dialogue with Venezuela to find solutions to problems facing the country.
I strongly oppose the Government of Canada’s participation in the Lima Group which is supporting the US led coup in Venezuela.