February 4, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The international community stands with the people of Venezuela and their demand for democracy and human rights. Under Canadian leadership, today 21 countries from the Lima Group, the broader international community, as well as the European Union met in Ottawa.
Foreign ministers of the Lima Group today reiterate their full support for Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela and call for free and fair elections to be held without delay. Foreign ministers also condemn the serious and persistent human rights violations perpetuated by the Maduro dictatorship.
The Lima Group also reiterates its deep concern about the serious crisis facing the Venezuelan people and neighbouring countries.
In recognition of this, the Government of Canada today announced close to $53 million in humanitarian aid and development support. Canadian funding will focus on meeting the basic needs of those most affected, including migrants and refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries. This includes providing emergency food assistance and improving access to health care, water and sanitation as well as to education and protection.
The Lima Group of countries has been working since August 2017 to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Venezuela – and will continue to do so until constitutional democracy is restored under the leadership of the people of Venezuela.
“We all have an obligation to support the Venezuelan people in their struggle to rid themselves of the Maduro dictatorship. No one should be denied democracy and human rights. Now is the time to strengthen our resolve and to firmly stand behind the people of Venezuela.”
– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
Today’s announcement places Canada among the top donors in response to the Venezuela crisis.
Over 3 million Venezuelans have been forced to flee their country since 2015 in search of food, health care and other basic services.
With no legitimate occupant in office – and in accordance with Venezuelans’ own constitution – on January 23, 2019, Canada and Lima Group members recognized Juan Guaidó, President of the National Assembly, as interim president of Venezuela.
The Lima Group was established on August 8, 2017, to coordinate efforts and bring international pressure on the illegitimate Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela.