02:19 GMT30 October 2020
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - The Lima Group, which encompasses over a dozen North and Latin American countries, has urged the international community to not recognise the December 6 parliamentary elections in Venezuela, according to a statement by the foreign ministers of member states, published by the Colombian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

    "This declaration of the Lima Group is also a convincing message to the international community about the need to stop electoral fraud which is being conducted by the Venezuelan regime," the statement read.

    The Lima Group foreign ministers expressed their strong opposition to Venezuela holding parliamentary elections without "democratic guarantees" and stressed that it would be possible for the democracy to fully recover in Venezuela "only after free and warranted universal presidential and parliamentary elections."

    The ministers also called for the involvement of the International Criminal Court in tackling the alleged human rights violations reported by the UN-sent Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela.

    This is not the first time that the Lima Group has called for a new presidential election in Venezuela. Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is convinced that their aim is to overthrow him at the United States' request.

    The Lima Group was created in 2017 with a declared aim to settle the political crisis in Venezuela. The group includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia. Most member-states have backed opposition leader Juan Guaido when he proclaimed himself president and organised a short-lived protest in January 2019. The US, too, has backed Guaido, while Russia, China and Turkey, among other countries, have continued to consider Maduro Venezuela's legitimate president.

    Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, parliamentary elections, election, Lima Group, Venezuela
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