By Andres Fernandez
Leftist Colombian opposition leader Gustavo Petro once again attacked political factions that are seeking to corner the regime of Nicolás Maduro, this time noting that after the recent summit of the Group of Lima in Bogota, the group “has been disrupted.”
According to the 2018 presidential candidate, only Colombia and the United States continue betting on the “violent destabilizing effort.” In addition, he spoke of alleged aggression by the Duque administration that he alleges will leave the country converted into a “protectorate of the United States, and Venezuela into one of Russia and China.”
He suggested that Maduro now has a “golden opportunity” to “democratize” Venezuelan politics and help build a new consensus.
Similarly, he spoke about the visit of US Vice President Mike Pence, instead of Donald Trump, in the framework of the summit of the Lima Group, arguing that this fact clearly evidences “what is the North American priority.”
Petro proposes the creation of a group to replace the Lima Group; a group of credible people who will work with all the parties involved and achieve peace.
Greater legitimacy for Guaidó
Colombian President Ivan Duque in his speech indicated that beyond strengthening what he has called the “diplomatic siege,” it will be necessary to take sanctions against the dictatorship and give “greater legitimacy and power to the National Assembly and the interim president.”
It should be recalled that this meeting of the Lima Group, in which the interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó participated, follows the new road map established by the allied countries to bend the will of the regime. The body has decided to continue with applying international pressure, the diplomatic siege, and will set aside the consideration of military intervention.
The Maduro regime remains in power through its military, a fact that was evidenced on February 24, when a coalition of nations attempted to bring humanitarian aid. The Venezuelan population suffers at the whims of the dictatorship, while Maduro uses food as a highly politicized weapon, supplying it only to his supporters.
Although from the outside the Venezuelan opposition seeks to encircle and put pressure on the Maduro regime as quickly as possible, inside Venezuela they are asking for a military intervention to stop the humanitarian crisis.
The Lima Group has also pointed out that there is sufficient information that suggests a possible attack by the regime on Guaidó once he steps on Venezuelan soil.
If the “violent action” against the opposition leader were carried out, there would be a collective response.
“From Bogotá, we will hold the usurper Maduro responsible for any violent action against Guaidó, against his wife or against his family, which would not only become another crime but would also lead to an international situation that would force the Lima Group to act collectively. to use all legal and political mechanisms at its disposal,” said Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo on Monday.
En un mes de lucha hemos logrado más de lo que nos imaginábamos.
Ahora es el momento de incrementar la presión hacia el régimen usurpador hasta lograr la libertad.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 26, 2019
Juan Guaido, through his official Twitter handle, proclaimed: “In one month we have achieved more than we ever could have imagined. Now is the time to increase the pressure on the usurping regime, until we achieve liberty. Our region is firm: Venezuela will recover its democracy!”
Despite the threats against his personal safety, interim president Guaido has every intention of returning to Venezuela.
The Lima Group, which consists of 12 Latin American nations, has called for Maduro to immediately step down from power, and hold free and fair democratic elections.