January 10, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on Venezuela:
“Today, Nicolás Maduro’s regime loses any remaining appearance of legitimacy. Having seized power through fraudulent and anti-democratic elections held on May 20, 2018, the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship. The suffering of Venezuelans will only worsen should he continue to illegitimately cling to power.
“Together with other likeminded countries in the Lima Group, Canada rejects the legitimacy of the new presidential term of Nicolás Maduro. We call on him to immediately cede power to the democratically-elected National Assembly until new elections are held, which must include the participation of all political actors and follow the release of all political prisoners in Venezuela.
“In direct response to the actions of the Maduro regime, Canada has imposed targeted sanctions against 70 regime officials and, in collaboration with five other countries in the Americas, referred the situation in Venezuela to the International Criminal Court. Canada has also taken steps to downgrade diplomatic relations and restrict engagement with Venezuela.
“We will continue to take further, strong actions, as agreed to by Lima Group members when we met last week in Peru.
“Canada congratulates Juan Guaidó, who on January 5, 2019, assumed the Presidency of the National Assembly. As the only remaining democratically-elected institution in the country, the National Assembly must continue to play a crucial role in keeping Venezuela’s democracy alive.
“Canadians stand with the people of Venezuela and their desire to restore democracy and human rights in Venezuela.”
- The Lima Group was established on August 8, 2017, in Lima, Peru, to coordinate participating countries’ efforts and apply international pressure on Venezuela. Meetings of the group have been regularly attended by representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. It is committed to closely monitoring events in Venezuela and applying pressure on Venezuela’s government until the full restoration of democracy in the country is achieved.
- Over 3 million Venezuelans have been forced to flee their homes since 2015 in search of food, healthcare, and other basic services.
- Since 2017, Canada has provided $2.21 million in humanitarian assistance funding to directly help meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations affected by the crisis, both in Venezuela and for those who have fled to Colombia.
- Canada has imposed three rounds of targeted sanctions to date and continues to coordinate with international partners to pressure the Maduro regime to restore democracy in Venezuela.