Venezuela’s Guaido and Pence agree to tighten noose on Maduro

Twelve organizations that promote the defense of human rights in the Americas published this morning a statement addressed to the Lima Group, meeting in Bogota to follow up the aggravated crisis since the weekend on the border between Colombia and Venezuela.

On September 3 and 4, 2018, representatives of various countries [1] met in the city of Quito with the aim of advancing agreements to provide coordinated responses to the Venezuelan human mobility crisis. One of the agreements of the meeting was “to accept expired travel documents as identity documents of Venezuelan citizens for immigration purposes” However to date, this agreement has not been translated into specific administrative measures that allow its implementation.

On the contrary, the provisions that restrict the entry of Venezuelans into various countries prevail, and even the adoption of new decisions that imply greater barriers for the access of people who require international protection to the host countries.

The member states of the Lima Group are aware that the political-institutional and humanitarian crisis that Venezuela suffers will not be overcome in the short term and that, as long as it persists, the flow of people will continue and increase, so adoption is urgent of durable, coordinated, long-term measures and from a protection perspective in favor of people from Venezuela.

In this regard, we respectfully request the Lima Group to include in the final declaration of the meeting in Bogotá, an appeal to the host countries of people from Venezuela for the immediate adoption of administrative and other measures to facilitate access by these people to their territories, as well as to advance entry guidelines in a consensual and articulated manner, in such a way that they do not keep presenting contradictory demands among themselves for admission in different countries, such as, for example, in the verification of police records.

On the other hand, we value the constant references of the Lima Group to the complex humanitarian emergency that Venezuela suffers and we are concerned about the growing trend towards the instrumentalization of aid for purposes unrelated to humanitarian principles, which is creating a scenario of greater confrontation than it brings as a consequence the criminalization and persecution of the humanitarian workers who historically have been developing activities in Venezuela [2] .

For this reason, we respectfully request the Lima Group to include in the final declaration of the meeting in Bogota, a paragraph rejecting the criminalization of humanitarian workers and urging all countries to refrain from instrumentalizing aid for purposes other than humanitarian aid, In order to avoid more negative effects towards the final recipients, who are the most vulnerable people of the Venezuelan population.

Without further reference, we take this opportunity to reiterate our feelings of high esteem, thanking your efforts to contribute to the restoration of democracy in Venezuela, through mechanisms that privilege peaceful options over the use of force, through actions multilateral organizations that are consensual and sensitive to the possible negative effects on the rights of those who inhabit Venezuela “.